back to article The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

A turf war has broken out among the scribes at Vulture Towers North over the fried delicacies that should and should not be included in the world famous Full English gut buster Breakfast. Based as El Reg is, in deepest hipster central - East London - we've witnessed people starting their day in local coffee shops, consuming …

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          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Proper Full English

            "Southern ponce. Up north we eat lead for breakfast."

            Luxury! 'Round 'ere we eat a handful of rat poison (cold) and stab ourselves to death with broken bottles for breakfast.

          2. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: Proper Full English

            "Up north we eat lead for breakfast."

            That explains a lot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUR1jeJYX7Y

      1. Pedigree-Pete
        Thumb Up

        Re: Proper Full English

        Have an upvote. I missed out Tinned Plum Tomatoes. A must on my breakfast plate. PP

      2. Jamesit

        Re: Proper Full English

        "Tinned plumb tomatoes"

        Tinned????!!!! I prefer fresh!!!!

      3. Alex Wilson

        Re: Proper Full English

        I was with you right up until 'tinned tomatoes' and brown sauce... fried tomatoes are vile, but tinned? Surely an abomination?

        A mans choice of condiments is between you and whatever deity floats your boat (brown sauce is nasty though)...

      4. Captain Badmouth
        Windows

        Re: Proper Full English

        "Tinned plumb tomatoes"

        The cans are lined these days and I'm not sure they're soldered, so no lead for you.

        Otherwise I'm with you on the tinned variety, the juice cuts through the fat and makes it feel healthy.

        p.s. boiled, not fried.

        If you're having laverbread, fry it in the bacon fat.

        Heart attack icon------>

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Proper Full English

          Proper canned tomatoes are in glass, not anything that requires soldering.

    1. Len Goddard

      Re: Proper Full English

      I mostly agree but ...

      bacon should be smoked back bacon, dry cured by hand (none of this water-injected crap or spray-on smoke), and not cooked until hard.

      I'd like some black pudding

      Beans must NOT be Heinz - they have a distinctive aftertaste I despise

      Side of toast? Depends on how generous the provision of fried bread.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Proper Full English

        @len goddard

        "Side of toast?"

        In Britain we call it a "round of toast". Well the proper parts of Britain do.

        Source: I'm a common Manc.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Proper Full English

          "Side of toast?"

          In Britain we call it a "round of toast". Well the proper parts of Britain do.

          Posh git. Slice of toast. Unless you buy that posh round loaf for your toast, it's square or oblong (rectangle is posh too!)

          Source: I'm a common Manc.

          Bloody southerner!

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Proper Full English

      "What's not to like?"

      The fried tomato. I just can't do the fried tomato. I was on a course with a colleague many years ago, having breakfast, and he told me this story;

      A few weeks previous him and some mates had gone to the seaside for the weekend, and stayed in a guest house. The landlady was apparently smoking while cooking their breakfast, and they could hear her hacking and coughing, which alarmed them quite a bit. When their breakfasts arrived, one of them looked quizzically at the plate, and said "is that a fried tomato, or has the old dear brought up a blood clot?"

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Proper Full English

      Bacon - yes to nice and crispy but not burnt to a frazzle like them Yanks.

      Sausages - A nice Lincolnshire (with extra seasoning) is perfect for a full english.

      The problem is getting a really good one. Thankfully my local butcher is a prize winner when it comes to Sausages but even his aren't a touch on what I used to get as a child from Reynolds Butchers shop in Chatteris. (mid 1960's). They were really special.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Proper Full English

        "They were really special."

        Yes, the lack of sawdust really tells! Damned EU regulations!

    4. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: Proper Full English

      "Bacon - don't mind what type but it must be nice and crispy"

      Ditto.

      "Fried egg, yolk must be runny (to dip your sausage and fried bread in)"

      I tend to go for scrambled, but sometimes I'll opt for fried instead - in which case, yes, definitely a runny yolk.

      "Fried bread - has to be white bread, not too thick and properly fried all the way through

      Sausage - a nice Cumberland or similar"

      Ditto to these.

      "Tomatoes - real tomatoes halved and fried in the pan. Need to be good quality ones"

      And that's where it's gone horribly wrong - I really don't like fried tomatoes.

      "Baked beans - good quality, and not cooked to death and then left under a heat lamp for hours either"

      And now we're on the right track again.

      "Tomato ketchup - a generous dollop on the plate, not on any of the ingredients. How can a mere chef possibly know where I want to put it?"

      Don't even put it on the plate - let ME do that!

      "And, of course, the meal must be accompanied by a generous mug of proper British tea (I believe this one was already settled by the Reg a while ago)"

      When I'm away from home (the only time I have a full English), I don't drink tea. At all. No bugger seems to make it to my taste! It's coffee, always, because I'm a lot less fussy with that.

      "and, if possible, a couple of slices of buttered toast"

      And why not?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Proper Full English

      "What's not to like?"

      Your glaring omission of black pudding and mushrooms fried in butter is what.

      A Bury pud, steamed, split in't middle and slathered w'mustard.

      Thats proper scran right there. Reg Northerners, you know what I mean.

      If you need an international twang, throw in 'ash brown or two.

      Also, who the fuck has ketchup. HP all the way.

    6. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: Proper Full English

      What's not to like?

      Well the tomato sauce would ruin an otherwise perfect full English. The sauce, it must be brown!

    7. Pedigree-Pete
      Pint

      Re: Proper Full English

      @ The Bishop. Not far off. Fried bread OK, but toast will do. Baked Beans, when did that become part of a Full English. Tomato Ketchup, maybe but HP Sauce it should be even tho' it features the Houses of Parliament on the bottle but is made by Danone (French;Tsk). You've got fried tomatoes.

      Egg, yes, soft yolk, firm white. Sausage, there are so many to choose from but for an "English" breakfast Cumberland is not a bad choice. Perhaps for our Welsh, Scottish and Irish friends you may consider Lambs sausages, Square sausage and Soda bread. Perhaps 3 new threads on the Full Scottish, Full Welsh and the irreplaceable Ulster Fry. PP

      ICON>>> Beer is not just for breakfast, you can have it all day if you like. :)

    8. James Anderson

      Re: Proper Full English

      Almost there -- you missed out the black pudding friend until surface is crunchie.

      Disclaimer as a Scot going off-topic and recomending full scottish:--

      More of less as above but:

      Nice thick smoked back bacon -- fried not grilled.

      Beef sausage.

      Small round of Haggis instead of (or as well as Black Pudding).

      Preferably tinned tomatoes -- fresh is acceptable if you are a wimp who went to a posh school.

      Toast (even wholemeal toast) is acceptable if you have insufficient frying pan capacity.

      Mug of strong tea.

      Pint of 80/- if its after 10:30.

    9. rsole

      Re: Proper Full English

      Swap out the tomato sauce / ketchup and put in mushrooms and I am with you.

  1. Lusty Silver badge

    "A big bone of contention was the type of cooked egg that should grace a fry-up - should it be fried or scrambled?"

    Scrambled eggs aren't fried. I consider this permission to slap anyone who suggests scrambled eggs are the proper egg for a fry-up.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      You can scramble eggs in a frying pan - it's better too.

      Although it has no place in a full english.

    2. Geoff Campbell
      Boffin

      Scrambled eggs

      I make scrambled eggs by frying them in butter. There is no other way.

      However, eggs are an abomination, and have no place in a decent breakfast. Lots of Vitamin P, some mushrooms and fried tomatoes. Black pudding is mandatory. Beans optional, but not for me, thanks. Tinned tomatoes are also an abomination, and should be reserved for chilli con carne.

      Tomato sauce? What are you, five years old? In what universe does any meal require cheap sauces from bottles?

      GJC

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Scrambled eggs

        Why not both? :)

      2. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Scrambled eggs

        However, eggs are an abomination, and have no place in a decent breakfast

        Oh come on GJC, how can you have a proper fried Breakfast without runny eggs to dip things in?

        1. Geoff Campbell

          Re: Runny yokes

          I am very, very mildly OCD. I only realised this fairly recently, when I read that reacting badly to mixtures of runny foods was a classic symptom.

          I grew up in a classic '70s household, where fried eggs with runny yolks were a staple foodstuff, served at least once a day, not least because we kept some chickens so they were essentially free. Always with lashings of ketchup. Which is a combination that triggers a really, really violent revulsion in me to this day.

          I've only relatively recently understood that it wasn't the eggs that were the problem, just the mixture of runny yolk and ketchup. I can now eat omelettes and scrambled eggs, and I even managed a fried egg last year, albeit with a yolk very much on the solid end of the spectrum.

          GJC

          1. Alister Silver badge

            Re: Runny yokes

            Geoff, I sympathise, the combination off ketchup and egg yolk is revolting to me too. However, for me the solution is simple... No Ketchup! :)

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Runny yokes

              "Geoff, I sympathise, the combination off ketchup and egg yolk is revolting to me too."

              It's not so much having both as the horribly disgusting pink colour it goes when mixed. Solution? Keep the yolk and ketchup separate!

      3. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: Scrambled eggs

        "some mushrooms and fried tomatoes. Black pudding is mandatory."

        Mushrooms are on the list of things that I would like to see all traces of put in a rocket and fired into the sun.

        As noted in another post, I don't like fried tomatoes - but they aren't bad enough to make that list, and the same for black pudding.

        "Tomato sauce? What are you, five years old? In what universe does any meal require cheap sauces from bottles?"

        My taste buds have never matured. I love a splash of tomato sauce on things - although I have cut down somewhat, after once being asked if I wanted any more chips to go with my tomato sauce.

        1. Mr Sceptical
          Happy

          BEANS!

          I'm with you on the mushrooms, they grow on dead things for crying out loud.

          However, fried tomatoes are OK, as long as you're using olive oil to fry in.

          And I gently fry my baked beans every morning to get a nice thick goo. After years of testing (yum), I've come to the conclusion Tesco beans are best value for money & taste. I dabbled with Branston ones for awhile, but they were too salty to eat daily.

          Sausages should always have 85%+ pork content, that's why I avoid them when staying in most hotels....

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: BEANS!

            as you're using olive oil to fry in

            Eww. Just.. eww. Stuff fried in olive oil (even really good olive oil) tastes rancid to me. Which is odd because I like olives..

            If I'm frying stuff I generally use peanut oil or rapeseed oil. Unless it a North Indian curry - in that case it tends to be mustard oil..

            Hmmm.. curry...

            That's tonight's tea sorted. A small diversion via our favourite takeaway[1] on the way home methinks!

            [1] Friday is no night to be cooking.. Detracts from the wine-drinking time which means that The Last Leg won't be as funny..

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: BEANS!

            "I'm with you on the mushrooms, they grow on dead things for crying out loud."

            Erm, most of the rest of your full english is grown in dead stuff, shit or even chemicals. The remainder is dead pig and, if having black pudding, the not nice bits of dead pig. Lurverly!

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Scrambled eggs

          Mushrooms are on the list of things that I would like to see all traces of put in a rocket and fired into the sun.

          I used to hate them (and my nephew still does). However, my tastes have changed..

          Especially raw - wonderful flavour[1]! Or lightly fried in butter then finished with a small splash of lemon or lime juice.

          [1] I feel all Mastercheffy..

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Scrambled eggs

        "I make scrambled eggs by frying them in butter. There is no other way."

        3 eggs, about 30% by volume of full cream milk and two heaped teaspoons of Maykway Curry Sauce powder, all whisked. A little butter in the frying pan, sizzling, pour in mix. once it starts to set, begin stirring so you get nice big curds. Once it's gone to lumps, add more butter so as to fry the curds till they start to brown a bit and go a little crispy.

      5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Scrambled eggs

        "Tomato sauce? What are you, five years old? In what universe does any meal require cheap sauces from bottles?"

        Erm, we're talking proper "greasy spoon" Full English, not Gastro Pub posh crap!

  2. LegalAlien

    Hash browns... or fried potatoes

    All the above, but need some potato carbs please. That is all.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Hash browns... or fried potatoes

      That's what the fried bread is for.

      1. LegalAlien

        Re: Hash browns... or fried potatoes

        Agree with fried bread... but in addition to potatoes!

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: Hash browns... or fried potatoes

          Agree with hash browns or fried potatoes, but bread should be toast on the side, with real butter (spread while hot) and a decent chunky marmalade.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proper rashers please

    back bacon is for pies and sandwiches.

    Mines the runny fried egg to dip hash browns in and black pudding on the side, so I get some healthy vitamins :)

    As I am clearly a bit too posh, I also prefer proper sausages with named meat. At one place I worked for even the canteen staff called the cheap ones "x-files sausages" as it was simply a plastic bag of pink...Obviously aliens

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Proper rashers please

      One of my local curry houses has a list of options for their dishes i.e.:

      Prawn

      Lamb

      Chicken

      King Prawn

      Meat

      We have yet to summon the courage to sample a 'Meat' dish. It's not even any cheaper than the other options!!

      1. Vinyl-Junkie

        One of my local curry houses....

        As many (former) residents of the Indian sub-continent, and their descendants, eat neither the flesh of the pig nor of the cow/bull, it can be safely assumed that "meat" equates to lamb. Such labelling is certainly not uncommon in my part of the UK.

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: One of my local curry houses....

          it can be safely assumed that "meat" equates to lamb.

          I think that 'meat' might actually equate to 'beef'. No-one object to lamb/mutton/goat.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: One of my local curry houses....

            I think that 'meat' might actually equate to 'beef'

            Or shorthand for "whatever was cheapest at the cash 'n carry the day before"..

      2. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: Proper rashers please

        I have a photo of a menu board in Egypt with an 'Omnifarious' option . . .

      3. Floydian Slip
        Pint

        Re: Proper rashers please

        Ah yes, undefined "Meat" and that's why the great UX expert Jakob Nielsen got his name for web menus and navigation where the destination was unclear. He called it "Mystery Meat Navigation" navigation items where the destination is unknown.

        On a slightly different front, one of the reasons why a lot of curry houses have red light is that it makes it much harder to determine the type and quality of "meat" on your plate.

        Any cats gone missing recently?

        Beer icon 'cause you need one whatever type of meat you're dealing with

      4. Vic

        Re: Proper rashers please

        We have yet to summon the courage to sample a 'Meat' dish.

        Do it!

        "Meat" is invariably mutton. For a strongish curry, that's far better than lamb - although the taste is very similar, it's much stronger, so it doesn't get crowded out by the curry...

        Vic.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Proper rashers please

          For a strongish curry, that's far better than lamb

          This is not reassuring for someone[1] that hates the taste of lamb. And goat (to me, goat tastes just like slightly-gone-off lamb).

          Herself likes lamb but is ambivalent about beef. Which is why she as several lamb-shanks in the freezer and I have some nice bits of sirloin..

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Proper rashers please

        My first order would have been meat but then again I've eaten Kangeroo and Crocodile.

      6. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Proper rashers please

        We have yet to summon the courage to sample a 'Meat' dish

        Check it over with a pet-tag detector first :-)

    2. Sweep

      Re: Proper rashers please

      As a skint student I did a couple of shifts in a factory making cheap "value"supermarket snags (the kind that lose their shape if defrosted). I don't mind the less appetising parts of an animal and the sausages were mostly made up of colourless fat and gristle. It was the amount of chemicals added (to make them pink etc) and "filler" that swore me off the cheap ones.

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