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 …

Pint

I see a distinct lack of coffee or tea being mentioned. Preferably unlimited refills.

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You really need to sort yourselves out. I had a look at the picture in this piece and was horrified to see something green on the beans and tomato. No part of a proper English breakfast is green. And what the hell are those beans doing in their own dish. Poncey metropolitan gits.

Fried egg. 1 or 2. Scrambled is NOT an option.

Bacon. 2 rashers. Unsmoked, back or streaky.

Sausage. Cumberland.

Beans

Toast

I think after that you can add extras from a list of acceptable options

Tomato, mushrooms, fried bread, black pudding, fried potato (must be mashed)

Hash browns are an abomination from a former colony that has lost the plot.

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"Hash browns are an abomination from a former colony that has lost the plot."

Yep. Well made ones can be nice, even for brekkie, but not part of the Full English!

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WTF?

Baked Beans...

"Hash browns are an abomination from a former colony that has lost the plot."

So are baked beans and as such do not belong on a Full English. PP

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Sausages - any local variety with a good herb flavouring

Bacon - fried well enough so there's no stringy-ness to the rind but not so overdone it shatters

Tomatoes - personally I don't like these but they should be included for a "proper English"

Black Pudding - essential for the peppery spice it brings to the party

Fried eggs - runny yolk

Fried bread - fat soaked all the way through and crisped up enough, but again - no shattering!

Anyone who adds mushrooms is just plain wrong, but any variety of sauces and condiments are acceptable.

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Abomination in the sight of God

Our local cafe (which welcomes hippies) has recently added what it calls 'Vegan black pudding' to the veggie breakfast. The mind totally boggles - how can you have vegan blood pudding? Squeeze the juice out of a beetroot?

Having said that I am partial to the odd veggie brekkie in another cafe in Aberystwyth. Obviously not a real full English (or Welsh) but they understand the concept - 2 slices fried bread, 2 hash browns, 2 nice fried veggie sausages, 2 fried eggs, sliced mushrooms fried in butter, baked beans (and I have some tinned toms as an extra)

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Re: Abomination in the sight of God

Just wattched an episodeof the Australian Better Homes and Gradens, and blasphemy of blasphemies, has a donut made with beetroot

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Re: Abomination in the sight of God

I used to have vegetarian leak sausages in a certain purple-hued city center hotel chain. Quite nice they were too and better than the porky ones. Until that its they went to the dark side and went to Quorn branded ones. Other tasteless meat substitute products are available.

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Re: Abomination in the sight of God

I lived in North Devon for a couple of years in the late '70s, I remember a very hippie veggie cafe in Barnstaple called Sunfoods, they made veggie Cornish pasties that were as good as the real thing.

On a side note a Devonian treat to rival an English breakfast for artery clogging goodness was Lardy cake. Made with a lard based dough, dried fruit and added sugar, it could equal a brekky in terms of cholesterol and carbs then had enough sugar in it to make a dentist smile.

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Re: Abomination in the sight of God

they made veggie Cornish pasties that were as good as the real thing.

I've passed your details onto t'missus. Being of Cornish stock[1], she has a somewhat firm view of what constitutes a proper pastie.

And it doesn't involve meat-substitutes. Expect an outraged delegation of piskies sometime soon.

[1] Any jokes about being overboiled and reduced too far (she is under-tall) are not appreciated.

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Re: Abomination in the sight of God

Vegan black pudding?

*googles*

That ... actually sounds kinda tasty. I mean if you can't get good black pudding. I'd always prefer the vegan alternative to the cheap stuff. Bacon excepted, cheap bacon's nice.

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Here you go ladies, the Fat Bastard Special. And just down the road from me

https://goo.gl/svUdX3

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Man v Food has a lot to answer for!

mate of mine lives in Bristol though, so I'm sure he'll have sample that one in Portishead.

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Mushroom

https://goo.gl/svUdX3

Aaaaarggg!!!. There should NEVER...EVER...EVER...be bowls of anything on the plate. FFS I've been in pubs and they server the curry in a BOWL on the plate with the rice! No proper breakfast has a bowl of toms and bowl of bean on the plate. It ALL goes on the plate!

Phew! I feel better now.

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Hienz beans, Cumberland sausage really?

IMHO the classic full English breakfast should only be made from ingredients sourced at the local cash & carry and served in the ambiance of a run down 1960's café. Smedley's baked beans stewing in the pot for a week, Ketchup that could strip paint and sausages of such questionable content a tourist from Ankh Morpork would feel at home.

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Bubble & Squeek or Chips

My local has this option but I think that's too many carbs. On sausage, and being a Jock, I'd prefer mine to be square and not long and thin covered in an edible case.

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Breakfasts around the nation

How is a discussion about an English breakfast going to unite Britain?

All it's going to do is emphasis the difference between the "full English" and the "full Scottish", and I don't doubt there's a "full Welsh" as well.

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Full Welsh

In Swansea you could get a full english style breakfast with whelks.

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Re: Breakfasts around the nation

There is also a Full Irish and the Ulster Fry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_breakfast#England

I don't think it's something you can definiteively categorise though, we've already seen from the other comments that there are huge local variations across England. Given that it's often post-alcohol breakfast for so many people, what goes in will be determined by what's in the house.

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Re: Breakfasts around the nation

"there are huge local variations across England."

Well, historically, England is also united kingdom in it's own right. Even the certain Cornish are trying to claim they are a separate nation, despite the genetics showing they are all Grockles. Personally, I'm a member of the Northumbrian Popular Front. Frreeeeeeedommmm!!!!!! (and black pudding!)

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Re: Breakfasts around the nation

"Personally, I'm a member of the Northumbrian Popular Front."

Splitter!!!

But yes, Freedom!

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OK - here we go

Quantities up to the individual.

Bacon - unsmoked - crispy - preferably streaky

Sausage(s) - ideally Lincolnshire or Cumberland.

Fried bread - white.

Egg(s) - fried with runny yolk

Black pudding - ideally the Scottish stuff with oats in that goes really crunchy

Baked beans - Branston - not Heinz

Mushrooms

Bubble and squeak - ideally made with leftover sprouts - cooked so that you get crispy bits in

Tea - mug of

Bread and butter to mop up the bean juice and egg yolk.

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Re: OK - here we go

Streaky bacon is only useful for pigs in blankets.

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Re: OK - here we go

Bacon - unsmoked

Why are so many people going for this? *Proper* bacon is smoked..

(My version of the FEB is: Bacon (lots). Sausages (several, preferrably Cumberland). Mushrooms (lightly done in butter). Eggs (two, fried with solid yolk). Fried potatoes (preferrably, left over ones boiled the previous day, left to go cold and then fried). No beans, black pudding or tomatoes[1]. Although, if you must have tomatoes, make it fried fresh tomatoes, not plum tomatoes out of a can)

[1] Sadly, they react badly with my Annoyed-Rottweiler-mode immune system and give me joint pain. As do uncooked citrus fruits.. Which is a shame because I really, really like tomatoes and citrus fruits..

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Re: OK - here we go

@discustedoftunbridgewells.

I thought pigs in blankets was a leftpondian reference.

We call them kilted sausages. PP

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Hospital Canteen

From our canteen, run by a French company. You can get for £4: 2 Lincolnshire sausages, 2 rashes unsmoked back bacon, 2 slices black pudding, scrambled eggs, hash brown and a bottle of OJ.

This is the best breakfast.

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Headmaster

Half English

I've always disliked the term "full english".

How many other meals have to be prefixed with word explaining , not very well, the proportion of the meal you will be getting?

And this on a meal that no one seems to agree what the "full" list is!

Also the terms hal , 3/4 , whatever are never used. sometimes "small" is - presumably to indicate you are getting a less than full full english?

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Re: Half English

"Full" indicates the bare minimum of bacon, sausage, eggs, tomatoes and beans. "Small" merely means a smaller quantity of each of the full list of ingredients, eg only one sausage, one slice of bacon etc. Simples!

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At least two sausages. At least two rashers of bacon, nicely crisped. None of this chewy nonsense. Black pudding definitely. No two ways about that. Eggs fried, yolk runny. As long as we have all that, add whatever else you want - hash browns, mushrooms, beans, but remember - the tomato is just there to make it look nice. Never eat the tomato.

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Headmaster

Nah, the tomato is there to get an extra sausage or rasher of bacon by requesting a substitution.

At least it is for me at Garfunkels in Gatwick ready for the stupid o'clock EasyJet flight out to the continent, but then I don't like tomatoes anyway.

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"At least it is for me at Garfunkels in Gatwick ready for the stupid o'clock EasyJet flight out to the continent, but then I don't like tomatoes anyway."

Yikes! I'm surprised places like that haven't gone full "motorway services" yet. Each item on the plate priced separately. Even the butter and marmalade for the toast! Even if you just go in for toast and coffee, they charge extra for the butter. Who the hell would buy toast and expect to eat it dry?

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Anonymous Coward

Baked beans, sausage, half-boiled eggs, tomatoes from a can. An empire was built on that suffering!

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Perfect full english

Bacon - back bacon, ideally grilled, crispy, 2 rashers

Eggs - fried, yolk must be runny, 2 of em

No friend bread, crusty wholemeal bread for me, toasted til golden, lots of real butter

Sausage - would eat any, prefer better quality ones, 2 please!

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

Baked beans - Heinz baked beans, in their own ramekin

Tomato ketchup - on the side!

Mushrooms, fried with lots of garlic.

Black pudding - two slices.

Black coffee, 1 sugar, and orange juice on the side.

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Anonymous Coward

The "K" Word

Kippers.

There, I said it.

Relax, I don't commute on the tube, and go through a complete decontamination shower before leaving the house.

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Coat

To quote James Bond

“I don’t drink tea. I hate it. It’s mud. Moreover, it’s one of the main reasons for the downfall of the British Empire. Be a good girl and make me some coffee”

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Everything starts with a B

Back Bacon, Black pudding, Baked Beans, Bubble & squeak , Bangers, Brown sauce, Button mushrooms, Buttered toast, Builder's tea or Black coffee and, errrr, Beggs

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Chz

To taste

What *should* be in there is entirely to taste, so long as it comes from a definitive list of acceptable ingredients (which has been discussed to death). I don't like tomatoes. Some people hate mushrooms. I'll only eat black pudding if it's the oaty, Scottish stuff and not the fatty Bury style. That's fine, so long as their replacements come from an accepted list. There's some arguing to be had (I like streaky bacon, but I don't think it belongs in the FEB), but I think we're fairly clear on what's OK. The closest thing to proper heresy I've seen here is that some people don't like tea.

What's more interesting to discuss is what *shouldn't* be in a Full English. Like omelettes, and chips. Not that an omelette with chips isn't a nice breakfast, but neither of the items have any place in a Full English. Or putting it all on something other than a fucking plate. Yes, I've eaten breakfast off a slate tile, and no I wasn't amused by it.

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Re: To taste

Breakfast off a slate? There's worse. Much worse. (Cite: http://wewantplates.com/)

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Re: To taste

I ate in a chain pub a few months ago. They were serving the carvery on prison trays.

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It's not difficult. Just add everything.

Fried egg, runny yolk x2

Fried slice

Baked beans

Fried tomatoes

Fried mushrooms

Fried potatoes

Bacon x2

Black pudding x2

Sausages x2

Chilli sauce

And all washed down with strong black coffee.

And don't get religious about the sauce either - save the prejudice for whether to eat veggie or pork sausages.

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Crisp back bacon. Sausages with at least 90% pork and some texture. Fried bread - toast at a pinch, or farl if you can get it - to soak up the yolk from the runny fried eggs (sunny side up or over easy are equally valid). A large tomato, halved, and properly cooked on both sides. Black pudding - white pudding instead or as well if you prefer.

There are never enough mushrooms.

Grilled lambs' kidneys should never be turned down if offered.

Baked beans are optional.

Hash browns are a heresy.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBBBWuypBZc

Bacon: dry cured, smoked or not to taste.

Eggs: fried, hard white, soft yolk.

Beans: Sainsburys', full fat none of your reduced salt and sugar tasteless pap.

Fried slice: A bit yuppie, I know, but sourdough makes a damn good fry.

All else is optional. And a cup of lapsang souchong... https://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/15/cuppa_round_up/?page=2 :)

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Steak frites!

Gatwick Airport used to have a branch of Chez Gerard. Once arrived there at stupid o'clock for an early flight, after a 90 minute drive.

One of the best breakfasts I have ever had :)

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Hash browns are an abomination. It's got to be Tattie scones, though I've recently been introduced to the Staffordshire oatcake, which will definitely be making an appearance on my breakfast menu from now on.

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Up vote for Staffordshire Oatcakes

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Rol

How not to do it

Visit many of the cafes and restaurants in England and order a full English breakfast, and what you get is exactly what a proper English breakfast should not look like.

Firstly, if the bacon came from a supermarket it isn't bacon, well it is in a very superficial sense, but any form of matter that is only two dimensional has no substance. You'll need to go to a proper meat retailer to buy bacon.

Secondly, and oh boy have I had some arguments about this one, buttered bread, NOT SLICED IN HALF!!!! It's the choice of the eater to make or not make a sandwich out of the smorgasbord of deliciousness, not the goose-stepping, Nazi, butty fascist "chef"

And black pudding, which should be at least half an inch thick, and not sliced into nothingness as they do with bacon.

The rest is pretty standard, oh, except for the brown or red sauce argument. It is perfectly acceptable to force the people who have a one bit digital taste bud to eat their sugar ruined meal out of sight, like behind a skip or in a toilet cubicle.

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Anonymous Coward

Minimum vs Best

The minimum fry-up:

Bacon - any

Sausage - any

Egg - Fried or Scrambled

Sauce - Brown

Beverage - Tea

.

The best fry-up :

Bacon - Streaky

Sausage - Cheap and cheerful (the lower the meat content the better)

Egg - Fried

Black pudding

Plum Tomatoes - with plenty of pepper

White bread - plenty of it

Sauce - Brown

Beverage - Tea

.

Things that don't belong on a fry-up : grilled tomatoes, Baked beans, potato of any kind, bubble & squeak, sausages with more than 50% meat content.

.

Regardless of the above, I think we can all agree that fry-ups always follow the rule :

"any other meal" < "bad fry-up" < "minimum fry-up" < "best fry-up"

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Re: Minimum vs Best

Streaky bacon? Get to fuck.

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The essential ingredient

The Full English Breakfast always tastes better with a hangover.

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