Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Breakfast Around the World

We have all heard the phrase, “Breakfast is the most important meal,” and it is. Breakfast is essential for weight management and refueling our glucose levels, which in turn fuels our body with energy. These two factors alone should debunk any notion about skipping breakfast.

Seeing that September is All American Breakfast Month I started to ponder, what does the world wake up to? My research of countries around the world leads me to the conclusion that there are three pillars of a good breakfast. The prefect breakfast trio is composed of proteins, carbohydrates and caffeine.

First, eggs or some kind of protein was usually on the plate. In Costa Rica, gallo pinto is the national dish. It is a combination of fried rice, black beans, sour cream and fried or scrambled eggs. In Madagascar, kitoza, strips of beef grilled over a fire, is served alongside gruel (thin porridge). In India, appam, a thin crepe-like rice pancake filled with meat, potatoes and/or vegetables, is a popular breakfast food.

Next, after protein, bread or starch was consumed. In Turkey, ekmek, bread made with wheat flour is served with preserves, honey or butter, is very popular. And in China, the primary starch is rice with small amounts of vegetables and meat.

On top of the list was coffee, tea or cocoa. In Argentina, submarino, steamed milk with bittersweet chocolate melted into it, is the supreme breakfast beverage. In Greece, you may order your coffee sketo (without sugar), metrio (medium-sweet) or glyko (very sweet). In India, kahva, a green tea with sugar, cardamom and ground almonds, is the beverage of choice in Kashmir.

People of the world have spoken and have united with their cups of coffee, tea and cocoa in the morning. We can’t deny the fact we all need a little kick-start in the morning. But remember to add some protein and carbs to that cup of joe, tea or cocoa.

Buon giorno!
Bonos dies!

Café de Olla (Mexican Spiced Coffee)
A wonderful cinnamon aroma with a lightly sweet syrupy flavor.

6 tablespoons of coarse coffee
¾ cup piloncillo (brown sugar)
4 whole cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
½ an orange, peeled and sliced
6 cups of water

Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Let steep for 5 minutes. Strain and serve hot or iced.

Yields: 6 servings

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