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 …

  1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Black pudding has a role to play, and it is at the bottom of a pit covered in lime and concrete.

  2. 10forcash

    As an authentic Yorkshireman, I have to tell you that you're all wrong!

    Bacon - unsmoked back,(you do want to taste the meat, not the burnt wood, don't you?) black pudding & Cumberland sausage (Lincolnshire sausage is made from that counties inhabitants extra appandages, apparently). The only acceptable source is Stanforth Butchers, Skipton. These should be cooked under a Salamander grill along with halved tomatoes, meanwhile, eggs - preferably ducks, should be gently fried in a cast iron pan (that has NEVER been washed, just wiped out with a slice of slightly dry bread) with lard and a touch of butter with mushrooms added to the same pan and thin sliced white bread fried in the bottom of the grill pan in the rendered 'goodness' from the pork products.

    All served with well buttered thick sliced bread and a large pot of builders tea (sourced from Taylors of Harrogate) Salt on the tomatoes, white pepper on the eggs and brown sauce on the sausages is mandatory. Anything is probably illegal. Or French.

  3. John Arthur

    Evening treat!

    Just read the comments above at 9.00 pm and remembered that I had two cold but cooked Cumberland sausages in the fridge. That's them sorted just when they though they were safe!

  4. John Watts

    Bacon - smoked streaky or green back.

    Fried egg(s) runny yolk.

    Sausages (Lincoln, Cumberland or pork).

    Black pudding.

    Toast (must be buttered - no marge).

    Mushrooms.

    Baked beans (but only if they've been cooked in a sauce pan - no microwaved beans).

    The wildcard - kidneys.

  5. TRT Silver badge

    Bacon, smoked back or middle

    Lincolnshire sausage (or other with a light herb)

    Baked Beans

    Fried bread

    Fried tomato

    Fried mushrooms

    Fried egg, over easy, runny yolk,

    Black pudding & mustard (if north of Watford Gap)

    Chips, hash browns or potato waffles (if south of Watford Gap)

    Brown sauce

    Toast, butter & marmalade (optional)

    Massive mug of hot tea, builders or English Breakfast or Assam (white, no sugar for me).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mustard...with black pud???? Accidento bizzaro

  7. Paul Woodhouse

    it actually works quite well :)

  8. SteveLewis

    The arrangement of the (suitably large) plate is just as important as the contents. Working our way around the plate:

    Bacon (back, lightly done)

    Fried egg(s)

    Sausages

    Baked beans

    Black pudding

    French toast

    Tinned plum tomatoes

    Hash browns

    Grilled tomatoes

    Fried bread

    Fried haggis topped with a poached egg

    Mushrooms

    Toast (buttered)

    Scrambled egg

    And in the middle of the plate - a Yorkshire pudding.

  9. Mr. Abelazar Woozle

    Bacon - got to be proper smoked back bacon, ranging from crispy round the edges to thoroughly crozzled. Rinds can optionally be cut off and fried separately to a proper state of crozzledness, think miniature pork scratchings.

    Sausage - something lightly flavoured, or plain but nothing too "mucked about with" as my father-in-law would put it.

    Black pudding - no excuses, this is essential...

    Eggs - both scrambled and fried (yolk runny), or if you want to make a token gesture for healthy eating, poached.

    Baked beans

    Staffordshire/Derbyshire oatcakes - I've you've never had one of these, it's high time you did, they're the Midlands' best kept secret.

    Toast - freshly baked white bread, can be lightly done to cremated depending on your taste.

    Mushrooms - fried in the bacon/black pudding fat to absorb more of that dead pig goodness

    I'd put tomatoes and hash browns on the optional items list, and tomato/brown sauce for the sausage if you're feeling like it.

    Wash down with pint mugs of well-brewed Yorkshire tea, then go out and take on the world.

  10. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Though I'm not from England or any of the surrounding parts, I've been there in the past, quite a few times on business. All these variations of the "Full Fry Up" mean there will be arguments as the "best". Personally, I didn't find a Fry Up that I didn't like. They were all great. Pity we never adopted them here in the States. So, I'm not seeing what the fuss is about as to "best".

    Here in the States, there's diversity in regional breakfasts, and again, for the most part, except for certain chain restaurants, they're all pretty good if prepared by a competent chef/cook.

    Yes, I'm one of those who try almost anything once as long as a) it's dead and b) not staring at me. And I'll have it twice (or more) if I like it.

  11. The Onymous Coward

    We've always done the standard sausage, bacon, eggs, beans, mushrooms, hash browns, fried bread and, err... kidneys. Always had 'em.

    Oh and it's called a BREADCAKE.

  12. 尼尔

    I suppose it means I´m getting old and smelly, but my best memories have it fried in beef dripping, with no sauce. Just pepper and salt and mustard.

  13. Mike 75

    Hash browns - since when were they ever 'British' - they are a bloody awful bland, tasteless American import and should be banned from any English breakfast - better still banned from being imported !.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The most offensive thing is when bloody Scottish and Irish foreigners put bullshit like "full Scottish breakfast" on the f'ing menu. They have it in hotels. Seriously WTFF?

    Sick to your porridge and soda shite.

    Now don't get me on vegan crap they serve to you pounces in Shoreditch.

  15. TheElder

    No Gluten

    I have gluten enteropathy, the real thing.

    I have a gluten free muffin sliced in halves with a heavy coating of real butter. On top of that is some raspberry jam and then two soft fried eggs. I like a lot of salt since I have low blood pressure and I need to keep it up a bit. For an after meal snack half an avocado with olive oil mayo goes down very nicely.

    I should mention that I am 6"2" at age 67 and I still weigh 150 lbs, same as when I was 20. I have put on 150 klics on my bicycle this month. I put on muscle very quickly since my testosterone is 803, same as when I was 20.

    As for tea, I don't drink anything but water. I also use a bit of coke. (the type that ends in cola) It goes down nicely with ice cream. No coffee, can't drink beer. No wine or anything else.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: No Gluten

    I'm not surprised that you like a good breakfast. The rest of your day must be hell.

  17. TheElder

    Re: No Gluten... Hell???

    Hell can be a nice place for some people. I spend much of my time laughing. Just yesterday I saw a news item about La Machine on the streets in Ottawa. There was a woman operator on the Horse Dragon. Not long after that I was talking to a friend of mine who is in his 20s, recently married. He hadn't seen the news yet and I told him what I had seen. In particular I was imagining what a dragon woman might look like and how she would see herself as a dragon operator.

    I told him to look up Dragon Woman on Google images. It is mostly work safe... Ѡ

    La Machine news item

  18. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Happy

    Ultimate English Breakfast

    Reads like arguments about the best colour, the best piece of music or book ... I think it is all a matter of taste ... nice to read about all the different local variations in the comment section, looks like there is not even a clear definition for a full English breakfast ...

    Reminds me of the last time I was arguing about tea time, dinner, and/or supper, you know, times at which the meals are taken, what kinds of food you eat at each ... and those three meals turned out to be very different, depending on where in England you are from, and people try to impose what they were taught on others, you know, "real" tea time is taken at 4 o'clock, with cake, muffins, or scones and, of course, a cupa ... when others claimed they would have a two course meal for tea ...

  19. Uffish

    Re: Ultimate English Breakfast

    There is a very simple response to this problem - eat several versions (at breakfast time) of the full english wherever and whenever you can find the dish and feel able to do it justice. If your digestion and coronaries survive compare and contrast the different versions, settle on your favourite recipe and live the rest of your life with the contented knowledge that you can taste heaven whenever you want (but only at a real breakfast time).

  20. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Black pudding

    Lovely stuff.

    Unfortunately is is low in fat, high in protein and iron so good for you.

  21. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Alert

    Re: Black pudding

    When I asked about the provenance of the best black pudding I had ever eaten, the hotel owner told me that she always used fresh blood, never dried, and that she maintained a vat of blood in the kitchen. I can't remember her mentioning that it was pig's blood though...

  22. werdsmith Silver badge

    Pointless

    A Full English breakfast includes whatever you want.

    A decent cafe will have a price to include 6 or so items with extra ones at 50p each or whatever.

    And the diner chooses.

    The only stipulation I would add is a large mug of builders tea.

  23. Emmeran

    Typical Brits, can't even do breakfast right

    Where's the sausage gravy? The Chickenfried steak? The pancakes for gosh sakes?

    And have you never heard of hash browns? Ketchup or brown sauce - have you never met tabasco?

    No wonder you're all so limp and pallid...

  24. Uffish

    Re: Typical Brits, can't even do breakfast right

    I fear you have been misled by the photo at the start of the article, try https://recipes.sainsburys.co.uk/recipes/breakfast/full-english-breakfast for (I think) a better illustration. You will see that there should be no room left for anything else.

    You can keep your hash browns, I import Rösti from Switzerland and Tabasco is a bit thin flavoured for this dish, Worcester sauce has a broader taste. You would recognise that a real Full English is perfection if you saw it, or rather, ate it and wouldn't try to alter it.

    Now tell us about something as good from your side of the pond, a good chilli con carne, deep fried turkey, clam chowder etc etc.

  25. jake Silver badge

    Re: Typical Brits, can't even do breakfast right

    They are limp and pallid because they caught a disease from their housing. It's called "rising damp". It has always been a hazard of living in the British Isles, but now that they have moved from the coal heat that their Victorian buildings were designed for, and over to that new-fangled 'lectrics[0] that only heat small zones, it has become an epidemic. The only way to cure it is to raze vast quantities of aged stone row-houses and build more modern structures. Unfortunately, they can't. Because History.

    [0] Hint to Yank electricians: Don't look up "ring mains" or you'll have nightmares for weeks!

  26. Alex Wilson

    Incidentally, the best degreaser with a full english is a pint of good ale... a tea or coffee is lovely, but just doesn't cut through the grease like a beer...

  27. RonWheeler

    The best is

    whatever you yourself like and suits your nutritional needs.

  28. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Re: The best is

    "The best is whatever you yourself like and suits your nutritional needs."

    Ah, well, there's the rub...

    Everything that's really fun is either immoral, illegal, or fattening.

  29. Colonel Mad

    Old Story

    this subject was done to death in 2014.

  30. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Re: Old Story

    Impossible!

    You can never have too much brekky discussion.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I know that this will probably start a war here with the other commentards, but I have to say something.

    1 - The best full english breakfasts I have ever had are actually made by two Polish Ladies in Preston, Lancashire.

    For which I provide the following two proofs, thanks to our friends at a well known review site:

    https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-o/03/8c/27/be/deli-licious.jpg

    https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/0a/26/b4/89/petit-dejeuner.jpg

    2 - Personally it has to be plum tomatoes (not the chopped up cheap versions that are the left overs from the canning factory), they have to be sweet and juicy so that when you stab them, they make a nice mess with the runny yolks (two eggs please, Im British), for the other half they have to be raw tomatoes (I mean not even been under a heat lamp).

    3 - Black pudding, Im a Northerner - Prestonian to be exact and Bury is only up'th road so we expect the best.

    4 - Toast, big doorstep wedges - two of with Butter, none of that ponsey special healthy Margarine

    5 - Mushroom - fried in butter (Mmmm, getting hungry)

    Oh and obviously it has to be Bacon, Sausages, beans (warm to hot not so hot as to remove skin from inside of mouth)

    Sauce, HP, the real stuff not 'Brown' sauce - Thats like the non-named meat.

    If you have any good pictures of breakfasts, can you share some links as Im doing a birthday breakfast for the other half and want some really good suggestions (that and I love food porn)

  32. x 7 Silver badge

    requirements for a proper breakfast

    Cumberland Sausage

    Smoked back bacon

    Lancastrian black pudding (the spicy type)

    Toasted cheese using a decent blue cheese on brown bread

    Baked beans (with paprika and black pepper added)

    A couple of fried eggs (sunny side up)

    Fried mashed potato (similar to what the yanks call hash browns)

    English mustard (none of that poncy red or brown sauce)

    Black coffee

    Orange or apple juice

  33. bobajob12 Bronze badge

    Core plus add-ons

    The core:

    - fried egg, soft yolk.

    - hefty sausages, like cumberlands. Something the width of two fingers, not one.

    - a mug of builders tea.

    and then, according to regional taste and practice, any sensible combination of

    - bread goods: fried white bread, or white toast

    - marmalades: something tart with the rinds included

    - mushrooms - portobello if whole, or bella. Lightly fried

    - tomatoes - beefsteak, fried. some regions seem to like canned plum toms. not me, but chacun a son gout.

    - thick, meaty bacon. Wars have been fought over how crispy the bacon should be. Personal choice.

    - Black pudding.

    and of course not forgetting

    - copy of a trashy red-top tabloid to read it with

    - defibrillator close to hand for when the food tries to kill you.

  34. Ralphe Neill

    Don't forget ...

    ... the Walls Pork Sausages ... slow fried in lard and oozing fat!

    The bread should be fried in the sausage/bacon fat and should serve as the "plate" for the fried tomatoes ... preferably mashed into the bread.

    All of the other stuff is optional although there MUST be HP sauce.

  35. Nattrash
    Facepalm

    What? No kippers? What is the nation coming to? Must be the cake they all want to eat...

  36. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    Lester

    Let me raise a pint for Lester! He loved greased food.

  37. Egghead & Boffin

    The official best English breakfast is served at my local caff - the Super Sausage. Winner of the Britains Best Cafe award in 2016. http://supersausagecafe.co.uk/ . No, I don't work there or have a financial interest but I do eat there regularly, as my waistline will confirm :-)

    Two best quality pork sausages, 2 rashers of back bacon, hash browns, fried egg, mushrooms, beans and good black pudding. Add toast and a mug of Twinings English Breakfast tea for perfection.

    As for the sauce - I prefer Rocket Fuel sauce, which comes from New Zealand (like HP but with more kick - plenty of spices) and English mustard for the sausage.

  38. Roj Blake Silver badge

    Poached

    Here's my preferred set up...

    Two poached eggs (yes,I know I'm risking charges of heresy) with runny yolks

    Two rashers of back bacon (unsmoked)

    Two Lincolnshire sausages

    Baked beans

    One slice of toast, buttered

    One slice of fried bread

    One tomato, fried

    Mushrooms, fried

    Tea

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm seriously concerned about the lack of mention of fried bread, doesn't count as a full English without the fried bread (fried in lard is best, but oil is allowed I suppose). Turning to other matters - egg fried, mushrooms yes but not the awful ones that come out of a can, tomatoes fried (canned are acceptable in this case), black pudding (not white), baked beans mandatory, bacon streaky and must be smoked. Hash brown is a modern import to be avoided if you want to stay authentic. On the side there should be a plate of toast or bread and butter (sliced white of course), and a mug of tea (coffee is permitted south of Warwick / Northampton). Best consumed in a café with a stinking hangover.

  40. uncommon_sense
    Pint

    Live and let fry!

    I want EVERYTHING WITH EVERYTHING, and double the BACON.

    See you in a bit, Les, hope you went happily!

  41. garethm

    After sampling many from around the country, I have pretty set standards on my breakfast preferences...

    TWO (min) rashers of bacon

    TWO sausages - Don't have a particular preference as to what type, but anything that resembles a paste is unacceptable. None of this one sausage garbage!!

    At least one fried egg - cooked white, runny yolk... If the white is runny (read: snotty) - punishment will be violent and bloody.

    2-3 hash browns

    Beans (NOT IN A PONCEY POT! EVER!)

    Toast. Controversially, I'm a fan of brown toast - but I will fall to popular opinion on this, and thick white is more than acceptable - so long as it's present. This has the benefit of soaking in all the deliciousness of the yolk and the bean juice!

    Tinned tomatoes if they're available, though either way.

    Coffee. Lots. A large pot at minimum!

    Seriously - so many hotels are doing this one sausage crap these days. Where's the petition to make this illegal!?!

    I did have a chorizo and sweet potato hash one morning for breakfast in Berkhamsted, which was divine... but obviously not a full English!

  42. MalcolmL

    Three essentials

    1. Plain, really plain, sausages. Herbs have no place on the breakfast plate.

    2. A big flat open mushroom fried stalk side up and not turned over so that the juices remain trapped in the mushroom.

    3. A fully cooked tomato, even a bit burnt is nice, but never just slightly warmed raw tomato.

  43. Gleeb Freenman

    If I am ever up infront of a firing squad this would be my last meal

    1 fried egg soft yoke.

    2 rashers of bacon with rind

    2 sausages (chipolatas or normal sausages)

    1 slice fried bread (dipped in oil then grilled not the deep fried death of a slice)

    2 hash browns

    1 half of a grilled tomato (going easy on the fruit and veg as don't want to over do it)

    1 slice black pudding

    2 kidneys

    Mushrooms fried in butter (none of those stewed ones)

    Small dollop of baked beans.

    Kipper on top

    Side of 2 X white toast , butter , then jam or marmalade or marmite.

    1 medium glass of fruit juice to help break down the grease (orange / grapefruit / pineapple)

    1 pot of coffee or team.

  44. Dave559

    Veggie breakfast

    Hmm, not many veggies amongst The Reg readership, it seems, so here's my nomination (although I expect to be downvoted viciously, even though it's only a suggestion):

    Eggs, but however you like them: they don't have to be fried; scrambled or poached are just as good, perhaps even a Spanish omelette, although that's maybe not quite in the spirit of a fry up;

    Veggie sausages, there are many types to choose from nowadays, whether meaty-style, Glamorgan, or with actual vegetables (Cauldron do yummy peppers and beanie ones);

    Veggie haggis (better than the real thing, if you ask me);

    Veggie bacon, if you still have those cravings (guilty as charged);

    Hash browns or fried potatoes;

    Baked beans, fried mushrooms, fried onions, lightly grilled tomato;

    Smashed avocado, if you want a bit of healthy balance in there;

    Toast from good quality bread, wholemeal, rye, sourdough, all good;

    Condiments according to taste: I do like mustard with my sausages, and salsa makes an excellent alternative to ketchup;

    And, not least, something to drink according to preference (coffee, black, strong, lots, for me) and freshly squeezed fruit juice for that vitamin hit!

  45. goldfish

    Is it my imagination, or have I missed the following in the list

    - Haggis

    - Potato Scone

    - White Pudding

    - Fried Pancake

  46. Captain Badmouth
    Pint

    Tea/Coffee?

    I used to drink a lot of tea when I was younger, but since I discovered alcohol and espresso I barely touch the stuff.

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