IT is a centuries old tradition that began as a way of allowing the gentry to demonstrate their wealth via the ingredients on their plates. Now it seems the great British breakfast in all its varied forms is being altered to make it a more modern, healthier affair, with more focus on avocado than black pudding. 


The great British breakfast?

A proper old-school fry-up of sausages, bacon, black pudding, eggs, baked beans, tomatoes and fried bread are the main components of the 'Full English' or 'great British breakfast’, perhaps along with a few mushrooms to boot and some sauce on the side, along with toast and butter and a cup of tea.



It can have other features, depending on where you are in the UK, with a Full Scottish breakfast likely to include traditional Scots delicacies such as a tattie scone or square sausage, while a Full Welsh is likely to include Laverbread - a seaweed dish - and Welsh cockles. A Full Irish usually contains white pudding as well as black, while an Ulster Fry features potato bread and soda bread and a Full Cornish includes Cornish potato cakes and hog's pudding.


And why is it called a ‘Full’ breakfast?

‘Full’ reflects that it was simply a heavier or ‘Fuller’ meal to the lighter - and healthier - alternative of the Continental Breakfast, which was also served in the UK at the time of its origin.


When did it begin?

According to the English Breakfast Society, the traditional dish traces its roots back to the early 1300s when the gentry took pride in showing off the wealth of their estates by displaying an array of meats, vegetables and delicacies on their tables to show off the fruit of their land and the skills of their cooks.



Online food and drink company Milk & More - which makes doorstep deliveries from smaller suppliers - surveyed 1,500 adults, asking them to rate aspects of the famous fry-up. Of those polled, 22 per cent had never eaten fried bread or indulged in some builders’ tea - with milk and two sugars; while 31% wouldn’t include black pudding and 21% wouldn’t have full-fat milk in their tea.



The survey found we are opting for millennial foods such as smashed avocado, with 40% saying they would have that in their breakfast, along with some sourdough bread (11%), while 26% opted for a dairy alternative like coconut, almond or oat milk, while 64% would have hash browns and 11% would swap sausages for veggie sausages. As for bacon, Brits have seemingly swapped streaky for the healthier less fatty back bacon (58%).


‘Go to work on an egg’?

In tune with one of the most famous advertising slogans of all time - that dates to the 1950s - the poll also found, though, that 84% believe eggs are still an essential breakfast feature, with more than half wanting them friend and 34% opting for scrambled.


So although it has changed?

The big breakfast is still popular, just with modern additions and adaptions. Andrew Kendall, chief operating Officer for Milk & More said: “The research supports what we see in our customer online orders every day – that breakfast, including the classic Full English, is as popular as ever”.