I honestly do not know what comes over me when I am in the United Kingdom or Ireland, I just cannot resist a good morning fry-up. If it is on the morning menu, I will order it. If there are options in a breakfast buffet to make one, I will build it. There is something so satisfying to have on one large plate, a variety of breakfast foods looking right back at you.
🍽 Be sure to read down for additional photos of the fry-ups that I have taken during my travels.
Although I do love to cook my own fry-ups here in the States, it does take an effort to do it correctly. It is not so much preparing and plating it, but it is finding an international market that will have the proper ingredients.
A traditional full breakfast looks simple enough- bacon, sausage, beans, eggs, etc, but us Americans should not use our typical grocery store ingredients, and call it an authentic “Full Breakfast”. There is no authenticity using streaky (American style) bacon, mapley canned baked beans, or thin sausage links then putting it on one plate with all the other fixings, and proclaiming it a traditional fry-up. Good try though!
What is the difference between the three?
Full English Breakfast – Rashers, bangers, eggs, tomatoes, and mushrooms all on one plate, plus a lot of toast.
Full Irish breakfast – Everything in a full English breakfast with the addition of potatoes, and black & white pudding, which I skip on. Black pudding is made primarily from pork blood, fat, oats or barely. White pudding is similar to black but with no blood, and is sometimes made with pork liver. Irish soda bread can also be used alternatively than toast.
Full Scottish Breakfast– Everything on a full Irish breakfast, plus Lorne (square) sausage. The potatoes will also be replaced with tattie scone, which is similar to a potato pancake.
Three main ingredients that are the glue between the three types of full breakfasts, that can be mistakenly interchanged for non traditional UK products are- the bangers, rashers, and beans. You can purchase similar items from your local international grocery stores or online.
- Bangers are a traditional sausage from the United Kingdom, and they literally be “banging”. Bangers burst once bitten, and have a crispy skin that just pops.
- Rashers, unlike American “streaky” bacon have a more ham texture to it. The big difference is the cut of meat used. Rashers are loin cut, from the middle of the back where the meat is leaner on a pig. Streaky American bacon is a cut from the pork belly, which is fattier.
- British baked beans are quite different from typical American baked beans. The difference is the flavor and consistency. British beans are simpler in flavor, and stewed in a light tomato sauce with no meat. American baked beans can have a variety of taste from sweet, barbecue, and prepared with molasses and pork fat.
If you are planning a trip to the United Kingdom or Ireland, you can find full breakfasts pretty much everywhere including your hotel. There may be variations with what is included, or you may build your own from a breakfast buffet.
Whatever style of full breakfast you try, English, Irish or Scottish, whether it be homemade or in its country of origin, I wish you a very good morning and a full one at that!
Variety of full or partial breakfast styles while in the UK and Ireland (minus the B&W pudding)
One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast…– Robert A. Heinlein
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📸 All photos are taken by me (unless noted), and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre