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Old 05-11-2019, 05:24 AM
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Does the term "full English" get used outside UK?


In the UK a breakfast featuring a load of fried sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms and baked beans would generally be referred to as a "full English", whereas a lighter breakfast, such as croissants would be "continental" Does this nomenclature exist outside the UK? Would a Frenchman describe such a plate of stodge as an "English breakfast?"
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:53 AM
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I think most Americans would only have a vague idea of what "Full English" might mean, if they've heard the phrase at all. "Country breakfast" is sometimes used in the US for a traditional large breakfast, though IME the mushrooms and baked beans would usually be replaced. Mushrooms are common in omelettes, but If beans are involved at all(instead of the more common grits or potatoes)they would likely be ranch style, pintos, or refrieds.

Oh, and I thought the Full English included fried tomatoes. We fry green tomatoes, rarely the ripe ones.
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:00 AM
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Some hotels and pubs in Spain advertise "English breakfast", but note that the ad is always in English. It's speciffically directed to English tourists and expats. Our own desayuno de granjero, farmer's breakfast, only includes one item that's vegetable in origin and that's bread (toast around Seville).

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Old 05-11-2019, 06:05 AM
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There is also a 'Full Irish'. Bacon, sausages, baked beans, eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and black or white pudding, there may also be some cooked leftover potatoes made into a hash or a bubble and squeak. Toast, butter, marmalade, and plenty of tea goes without saying.
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:14 AM
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I think most Americans would only have a vague idea of what "Full English" might mean, if they've heard the phrase at all.
The phrase "continental breakfast", though, is much better known. Inexpensive hotels will often advertise a continental breakfast as part of their room rate. In practice, this usually means that they put out a buffet of pastries, coffee, yogurt, cold cereal, and juice, and guests can come help themselves.
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:27 AM
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"American breakfast", when not in America, is eggs, hashed browns, toast and a meat (sausage or bacon), IIRC (English, but without the beans, mushrooms, etc.). Usually with coffee and a small orange juice.
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:35 AM
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“Full English breakfast” is a common term in Australia and New Zealand.
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:49 AM
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When I saw the thread title, I thought "Does he mean a big breakfast?". So at least some Americans know it. I'd be more inclined to think of a "full Irish breakfast", but that's probably just because I've been to Ireland and stayed in B&Bs, but haven't been to England. And I'm not sure what, if anything, the precise difference would be between a full English and a full Irish (I expect there's a lot of variation and overlap in both).

"Continental breakfast" is known in the US, mostly, as MikeS said, in connection with hotels. With how Americans are with food and portion sizes, though, it's tended to inflate, and nowadays a lot of places that offer "continental breakfast" will also include make-your-own waffles and hot cereal.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:02 AM
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.... And I'm not sure what, if anything, the precise difference would be between a full English and a full Irish (I expect there's a lot of variation and overlap in both)...
You're right about the overlap. But I would say that a couple of items you would quite likely find in a full Irish are white pudding and potato farls, which you would likely not find in a full English.

Other variations which might give a clue as to where you are would be Lorne sausage, which is not common outside Scotland, which is a shame, as it is delicious.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:12 AM
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“Full English breakfast” is a common term in Australia and New Zealand.
Seems to be localised around Sydney, possibly in areas with lots of Brit backpackers. Elsewhere you'd see it as a 'Big breakfast', '[cafe name] special' or something like that.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:58 AM
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You might also see cafés advertising 'All Day Breakfast'. This will usually be some variation on a 'full English' sometimes with the addition of chips (fries). You do have to read the small print though as I have seen the all-day breakfast advertised but only available before 11am...
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:07 AM
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"Continental breakfast" is code for "We're too cheap to hire someone to cook for you."
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:16 AM
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In the UK a breakfast featuring a load of fried sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms and baked beans would generally be referred to as a "full English", whereas a lighter breakfast, such as croissants would be "continental" Does this nomenclature exist outside the UK? Would a Frenchman describe such a plate of stodge as an "English breakfast?"

Nope. I've seen "English breakfast" being proposed sometimes, but it's not common at all. And a Frenchman ordering such would expect eggs and bacon plus a glass of orange juice, nothing more. I don't think that the average Frenchman knows of the existence of the "full English".

French people just don't eat much for breakfast and even eggs and bacon would be very unusual. I often heard people expressing not just surprise but even disgust at the idea of eating anything significant in the morning, like a hot dish. You'd be hard pressed to find anybody willing to eat a full English for breakfast.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:27 AM
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Some hotels and pubs in Spain advertise "English breakfast", but note that the ad is always in English. It's speciffically directed to English tourists and expats. Our own desayuno de granjero, farmer's breakfast, only includes one item that's vegetable in origin and that's bread (toast around Seville).
I've seen that too in Spain. The reason as I've seen is because the typical meat/egg combo breakfast is not done there, and breakfast is more of a pastry and a coffee drink. So yes it's a shout out to get a breakfast like your used to having back home type of sign, and yes written in english.

But I don't recall seeing a 'full engish' breakfast.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:01 AM
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"Full English" is pretty well known around these parts. Not that many restaurants use it, mind you. But people know the term. I've even used the term in front of my students without explanation and they knew enough to comment on the presence of beans and/or black pudding.

More common is the "Lumberjack" or "Farmer" or "Some Other Hard Worker" breakfast, which drops the beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and black pudding in favor of more meat, a load of hash browns or country potatoes and a short stack.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:24 AM
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Mushrooms are common in omelettes, but If beans are involved at all(instead of the more common grits or potatoes)they would likely be ranch style, pintos, or refrieds.
Speak for yourself. I ate many times as a child and adult white beans in a molasses-base sauce, one of the varieties of 'pork and beans.' The only time I've had beans such as you describe is when I'm eating in a Mexican restaurant for breakfast, or at least a Mexican-inspired dish in an American restaurant involving huevos rancheros or chorizo or something similar.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:35 AM
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Even in England, it's not always called a Full English - an "all day breakfast" might be offered instead, or just "English Breakfast" (perhaps with small or large variants).
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:39 AM
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"Continental breakfast" is known in the US, mostly, as MikeS said, in connection with hotels.
Reminds me of this Key & Peele sketch
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:42 AM
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I've seen that too in Spain. The reason as I've seen is because the typical meat/egg combo breakfast is not done there, and breakfast is more of a pastry and a coffee drink.
That varies by family/person; what you get in hotels and what people actually grab when at home or when faced with a Full Buffet Breakfast are two very different animals. Note that, while you quoted (by mistake I assume) my bit about desayunos de granjero, you apparently have not encountered one in the wild; I definitely have.

My Dad used to have a fried egg for breakfast (although no bacon on the side), followed by a cup of milk with some galletas (either dunked into the milk or broken down into it, as sopas de leche); us kids would have some sort of pork cold meat (chorizo, "york ham", serrano, chopped pork, salchichón...) followed by milk and cookies. Mom has always had fruit, but if sweet teeth didn't exist she would have had to invent it: her own parents were of the "meat and milk" variety. 1.SiL almost had a stroke when she discovered 1.Bro's breakfast customs, as she is firmly on the "orange juice followed by fruit and then milk and cookies" camp; she had never had breakfast at someone else's house and was surprised when a poll of their friends showed a wide range between "oh God I don't even have a cup of coffee before 11am" and "I can't leave the house having had less than one fried egg with fried blood sausage, some salchichón or maybe chorizo or perhaps a bit of serrano to wrap up, a big cup of coffee with milk and a pair of large muffins".
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:45 AM
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I think baked beans in tomato sauce are pretty much an English thing, although they are available all over the world. They are not spicy or especially sweet and the beans are specially bred to have virtually no taste of their own; 50,000 tonnes of navy beans are shipped annually to the UK from North America. There are many brands, but Heinz is probably the most popular; every day over one a half million cans of Heinz Baked Beans are consumed in the UK. That’s more than 540 million cans a year.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:17 AM
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:17 AM
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When I saw the thread title, I had no idea that it would be about breakfast at all. Or about food, for that matter.

If someone had specified to me "full English breakfast", I'd have assumed there'd be a lot of it; and that probably both toast and kippers would be involved. Apparently I'd have been right about there being a lot of it, but wrong about the components. I might well have assumed eggs and sausage, but I wouldn't have thought of beans or mushrooms.

ETA: baked beans in tomato sauce are common here, but not generally for breakfast.

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Old 05-11-2019, 11:31 AM
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I think most Americans would only have a vague idea of what "Full English" might mean, if they've heard the phrase at all. "Country breakfast" is sometimes used in the US for a traditional large breakfast, though IME the mushrooms and baked beans would usually be replaced. Mushrooms are common in omelettes, but If beans are involved at all(instead of the more common grits or potatoes)they would likely be ranch style, pintos, or refrieds.
Or as part of a chili-cheese omelet.

Yes, people do sometimes put beans in chili. Get over it.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:53 AM
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Of the dozen or so B&Bs we stayed in in Ireland, I think only two included white pudding (though most had black pudding); about as many as had beans or mushrooms. All had some sort of potato dish, though I'm not sure what "farls" are (Americans probably know them, but call them a different name). <looking it up> What's the difference between farls and boxty? In any event, I don't think any of the B&Bs had those. Mostly, it was what Americans would call "home fries" or "hash browns".

It might be worth noting here that my Ireland trip was entirely in the southern provinces, not Ulster.
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:33 PM
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I think baked beans in tomato sauce are pretty much an English thing, although they are available all over the world. They are not spicy or especially sweet and the beans are specially bred to have virtually no taste of their own; 50,000 tonnes of navy beans are shipped annually to the UK from North America. There are many brands, but Heinz is probably the most popular; every day over one a half million cans of Heinz Baked Beans are consumed in the UK. That’s more than 540 million cans a year.
I see in the 'Foreign Foods' aisle at the grocery store cans of Heinz Baked Beans imported from England. Very distinctive cans, I suppose that's so British ex-pats here can find them easily. There must be dozens of flavors of baked beans on the shelves here, but the Heinz in that aisle stands out. Beans on toast sounds like a fill-em-up kids or working man's meal, cheap and easy. We had them once a week growing up, with sliced hot dogs mixed in - Beanie Weenies.
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Old 05-11-2019, 12:43 PM
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I go out with different people for breakfast about nine or ten times a week, and have done so for the past tree-fitty years, and I have NEVER seen "Full English" in the States. Also have NEVER* seen black sausage, tomahtos (grilled or fried), baked beans, or chips/french fries at breakfast.

It's really a shame, it's my favorite thing about my trips to London. (Have I seen the Tower or Big Ben? Nope. Buckingham Palace? Nope. Eaten huge breakfasts and pub lunches? Every day)


*Well, NEVER minus one. Our local Irish pub put on the Big Irish Breakfast one summer during World Cup Soccer/Futbol games, many of which were airing at 6 am. Ahhh...
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:53 PM
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I go out with different people for breakfast about nine or ten times a week, and have done so for the past tree-fitty years, and I have NEVER seen "Full English" in the States. Also have NEVER* seen black sausage, tomahtos (grilled or fried), baked beans, or chips/french fries at breakfast.
Speaking as someone from the Midwestern U.S., this, pretty much. If I heard the term, especially in regards to breakfast, I could probably suss it out, more or less, but it's not a term that gets used, at all, in my experience.

I'm a bit more familiar with the concept of an Irish breakfast, though that's a function of (a) having visited Ireland, and (b) having a number of Irish pubs / restaurants in our area.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:08 PM
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We do a Full English around Casa Silenus every couple of months, missing only the black pudding, which neither of us are fond of. With English beans, too. American beans are a different flavor and don't really go with breakfast. At the very least we'll have EBCB if we don't feel like messing with the tomatoes and mushrooms. HP sauce on the table and a pot of tea. You just can't have it too often.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:41 PM
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French people just don't eat much for breakfast and even eggs and bacon would be very unusual. I often heard people expressing not just surprise but even disgust at the idea of eating anything significant in the morning, like a hot dish. You'd be hard pressed to find anybody willing to eat a full English for breakfast.
It's not a regular thing for most British people either, to be honest. A weekend hangover cure for many, I suspect. People with physically demanding jobs tend to pre-load at breakfast though.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:54 PM
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I've seen "continental breakfast " used in the US - but I've never seen either "English breakfast" or "American breakfast". Either the menu/sign just says something like "2 eggs, any style, choice of meat" or different breakfasts have different names like at Cracker Barrel, where the Old Timers breakfast and the Sunrise Sample and Uncle Hershel's breakfast . The closes I've seen to an English breakfast was on an cruise ship with an Irish pub themed restaurant. The breakfast had grilled tomato, baked beans and mushrooms, but it was called a breakfast platter or something similar- not an English breakfast.
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:09 PM
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I forget where I first heard about English Full breakfasts, but it was probably back in the '70s, even before I lived in Britain. I remember an episode of The Persuaders where Roger Moore served Tony Curtis one.

I suspect anyone who's watched Fawlty Towers knows about them too.

I recently found Heinz beans in tomato sauce ("a la Britannique") at a posh supermarket nearby. I was surprised how different they tasted, compared even to simple pork and beans. Truth be told, I found them to be pretty bland. They'd be much better with a shot of brown sugar or some maple syrup.
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:13 PM
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:25 PM
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I have a question: I'm watching Jamie Oliver right now, and they were talking about going out for breakfast at a chippie. His guest said something like "I wanted beef early, eggs and chips."

What the hell is "beef early"? Or did I mishear completely?
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:32 PM
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The Big Over-The-Top English Breakfast saved my life...

Landed at Heathrow, took the Tube then a long walk to my hotel, with a heavy backpack. Bait 'n' Switch by hotel chain ("Oh, so sorry. I know the web site said you're in this quaint hotel, but you're really in our new high-rise down the street.") led to another walk.

New hotel not sure what to do about a room for me... I muttered "Look, you figure it out, I'm getting light-headed. I'm dropping my backpack in that closet and going for a walk before I faint." Wandered outside, even dizzier, and THEN realized that on top of a day of airsickness and dehydration, I hadn't eaten for 24 hrs.

And there it was... the quickly-scrawled sign in a cafe window: Big English Breakfast • All day • With coffee • Come in!

The plate was piled seven inches high with eggs, huge sausages, grilled tomahtos, baked beans and chips, and within minutes I was totally revived. I have never felt that huge of a change (both physically and psychologically) that quickly.



tl/dr: Praise be to the Full English Breakfast!
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:33 PM
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I go out with different people for breakfast about nine or ten times a week,
So some days you have both Breakfast and Second Breakfast, like a hobbit?
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:44 PM
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I’m familiar with the term “full English” from William Gibson’s Bigend trilogy, but, like digs, I’ve never seen it in the wild. Or not in the U.S., anyway.
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:47 PM
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What the hell is "beef early"? Or did I mishear completely?
Maybe it was shorthand for "I wanted beef earlier in the day than I'd normally have it"?
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:07 PM
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I’m familiar with the term “full English” from William Gibson’s Bigend trilogy, but, like digs, I’ve never seen it in the wild. Or not in the U.S., anyway.
Not as common as here in Europe perhaps, but most "Irish Pubs" in large American cities offer them, maybe some only on the weekends, but it's pretty standard Irish Pub fare, along with fish & chips, Shepard's Pie and some abomination involving corned
beef.
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:30 PM
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Not as common as here in Europe perhaps, but most "Irish Pubs" in large American cities offer them, maybe some only on the weekends, but it's pretty standard Irish Pub fare, along with fish & chips, Shepard's Pie and some abomination involving corned
beef.
I've been to a fair number of Irish pubs in the US; IME, "Irish Breakfast" is common, but I've not seen "full English" or "English Breakfast" at any of them. YMMV, of course.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:33 PM
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So some days you have both Breakfast and Second Breakfast, like a hobbit?
Yes, I too would like to know how digs fits nine or ten breakfasts into the average week. Maybe it was a slip for "nine or ten times a month"?
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:28 PM
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“Full English breakfast” is a common term in Australia and New Zealand.
Never heard it in Canada. I think Aus and NZ have stronger ties to British language and culture. Canada has been considerably US-ified.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:55 PM
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I've never heard the term "Full English" without the word "breakfast" also. And like others, I've never seen it offered in the US.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:04 PM
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Why would it? It’s an English term.

Does “green chile cheeseburger” get used outside of New Mexico?

Does “a double order of stuffies and a coffee cabinet” GT used outside of Rhode Island?
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:04 PM
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Would a Frenchman describe such a plate of stodge as an "English breakfast?"
Stodge?

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The phrase "continental breakfast", though, is much better known. Inexpensive hotels will often advertise a continental breakfast as part of their room rate. In practice, this usually means that they put out a buffet of pastries, coffee, yogurt, cold cereal, and juice, and guests can come help themselves.
Nitpick - "some combination of..." I was in hotel - and it wasn't some place out by the Interstate that looked like a strong wind would blow the siding off - where the continental breakfast was a box of donuts, and a pot of coffee. Maybe there were some single-serving containers of orange juice and milk somewhere.

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"American breakfast", when not in America, is eggs, hashed browns, toast and a meat (sausage or bacon), IIRC (English, but without the beans, mushrooms, etc.). Usually with coffee and a small orange juice.
Not bad, but they forgot the pancakes/waffles with syrup. And the choice of multiple jams, honey, and marmalade for the toast.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:10 PM
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“Stodge” would be stodgy food, like sausages, gammon, white and black sausage, baked beans, etc.

The French usually have a cup of cafe au lait and a roll for breakfast.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:17 PM
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Yes, I too would like to know how digs fits nine or ten breakfasts into the average week. Maybe it was a slip for "nine or ten times a month"?
Naah, it was just wishful thinking, daydreaming about how much I love breakfasts. Though I often have cereal before I leave home, then meet up with a friend late morning for the We-Don't-Care-If-You're-Full American Breakfast*.

So I'm on board with the Hobbit "Second Breakfast" concept.




*Shout out to Madison, WI for having very creative breakfast joints. From Marigold, with their Sweet Potato and Duck Confit Hash, to Mickie's Dairy Bar, where they butterfly cinnamon rolls for french toast... to Short Stack's "Blind Special" (if you don't ask what it is, it's half price... and it's always the chef getting creative and playful).
  #47  
Old 05-11-2019, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
Never heard it in Canada. I think Aus and NZ have stronger ties to British language and culture. Canada has been considerably US-ified.
A number of establishments in Toronto offer Full Breakfasts, both British and Irish. The GTA has a very diverse population.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
When I saw the thread title, I thought "Does he mean a big breakfast?". So at least some Americans know it. I'd be more inclined to think of a "full Irish breakfast", but that's probably just because I've been to Ireland and stayed in B&Bs, but haven't been to England. And I'm not sure what, if anything, the precise difference would be between a full English and a full Irish (I expect there's a lot of variation and overlap in both).

"Continental breakfast" is known in the US, mostly, as MikeS said, in connection with hotels. With how Americans are with food and portion sizes, though, it's tended to inflate, and nowadays a lot of places that offer "continental breakfast" will also include make-your-own waffles and hot cereal.
I, too, read the thread title and wondered, "does he mean an English breakfast"? So there are a few more Americans who know it.

I like the English breakfast. I like moderately bland food at breakfast time. I don't usually eat that much for breakfast, but when I'm traveling, I often do, and an English breakfast is quite nice. Although I suppose I like what I have been served in Germany and Scandinavia even more (heavy bread with sliced sausage, cheese, and liverwurst, muesli and good milk, maybe some hard boiled eggs....)
  #49  
Old 05-11-2019, 11:44 PM
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Out of curiosity, is there any difference between the terms "full English" and "fry up"? I spent several months living and working in the UK, and the terms seem synonymous to me, but perhaps I am missing a cultural nuance. At any rate, I've had more than my share of "full breakfasts" when I lived and worked in a Scottish kitchen. I was 20 at the time, so my body could take it, but for approximately the first 30 days working at that kitchen, I had a full breakfast (plus kippers; included black pudding) every single day. I do miss a good fry-up. I mean, no reason I can't do it here, but I have to properly source the ingredients to duplicate the experience.

And I always preferred the Heinz Baked Beans to American style baked beans, which were always way too sweet for my tastes (though the Heinz had a decent hit of sugar, too.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-11-2019 at 11:48 PM.
  #50  
Old 05-11-2019, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by clairobscur View Post
French people just don't eat much for breakfast and even eggs and bacon would be very unusual. I often heard people expressing not just surprise but even disgust at the idea of eating anything significant in the morning, like a hot dish.
But..but breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Truly - that's how it is pushed here in the States . You'll see a number of health benefits touted if you search the web for that phrase and on quick glance it seems there is at least a bit of science behind it.

But I was never a big breakfast eater until I got much older. The idea repulsed me a bit as a naturally early-rising kid. Now that I sleep in late I find it a lot more enticing.

Re: The OP I know the term, but no it is not commonly used in the US IME.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 05-11-2019 at 11:57 PM.
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