The 15 breakfasts plus Strange of the World

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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They always told us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and we Italians are true breakfast experts. Coffee, tea, cappuccino accompanied by brioches, pastries of all shapes and sizes, filled with jam, cream or chocolate: more or less, the classic breakfast of our beautiful country takes place like this, even if there are some regional variations! When we go abroad we are sometimes surprised to find, as breakfast foods, some foods that we consider more suitable for lunch or dinner or at least for an afternoon snack. As they say "country you go, custom you find", that's why we have classified the 15 strangest breakfasts in the world.


  1. Century Eggs, China
  2. Mangù, Dominican Republic
  3. Huitlacoche, Mexico
  4. Haggis, Scotland
  5. Siri Paya, Pakistan and Bangladesh
  6. Kimchi, Korea
  7. Pho, Vietnam
  8. Indian breakfast
  9. Ceviche, Peru
  10. Ful Medames, Egypt
  11. Katogo, Uganda
  12. Gallo Pinto, Costa Rica
  13. Loco Moco, Hawaii (USA)
  14. Filmjölk, Scandinavia
  15. Scrapple, USA
  16. User questions and comments

1 - Century Eggs, China

Let's start immediately with a food considered in China as a real delicacy, which appears to us in the West with at least a strange aspect! It is a dish made from duck, chicken or quail eggs which are kept for several months in a mixture of ash, salt, clay and rice husks. This treatment gives the yolk a dark brown color, with a creamy texture and a sulphurous smell and the egg white a gelatinous, transparent brown color. Century eggs are eaten alone or as an ingredient in other dishes, both for breakfast and other meals. Have you got an appetite?

2 - Mangù, Dominican Republic

Those who go to the Dominican Republic cannot leave without having tried at least once the Mangù, a classic of local cuisine that cannot be missed in a self-respecting breakfast. It is a dish made from plane, a fruit widely used in the culinary tradition of the country, so much so that it has become a true national icon. The plantains are boiled and then mashed, topped later with sauteed red onions previously cooked with apple cider vinegar. Queso frito (fried cheese), fried Dominican salami (more similar to mortadella than salami) are also added, accompanied by eggs or avocado.

3 - Huitlacoche, Mexico

Technically speaking, the specialty should be considered diseased corn. But do not worry, it is absolutely harmless: the spores infect the corn kernels which turn black and acquire the classic flavor of the mushroom. Usually, like champignons or other mushrooms, it is used as ingredient for filling omelettes.

4 - Haggis, Scotland

Non-Scots who taste this delicacy can be considered truly brave, especially when they find out with what ingredients this specialty is prepared. The haggis is none other than a mix of oatmeal, onion, lard and various spices to which are also added chopped sheep's heart, liver and lungs. Everything is cooked for a couple of hours in water or broth, wrapped in a casing that is usually the sheep's stomach.

5 - Siri Paya, Pakistan and Bangladesh

Siri means head and paya means feet: have you already understood what it is? Siri Paya is a soup based on head and feet of beef, lamb or goat cooked slowly, to which tomatoes, onions, curry and spices are added. A great way to start the day!

6 - Kimchi, Korea

Do you think that the scent of coffee is one of the most pleasant morning alarms? In Korea, they love the not-so-pleasant smell, at least for us, of fermented vegetables. Kimchi is a dish made with cabbage, green onions, radishes and ginger, seasoned with garlic and red peppers, a not exactly light specialty!

7 - Pho, Vietnam

This simple soup is made with rice noodles, basil, lime, bean sprouts, beef or chicken. Consuming Pho for breakfast is a surefire way to have guaranteed energy throughout the day. The ingredients are not that strange, but in our habits a large steaming bowl of soup it is certainly more suitable for lunch or dinner.

8 - Indian breakfast

Indian breakfast does not have a real name, as it is a series of ingredients that can be eaten all together, combining only a few or individually. Indian breakfast is usually based on roasted potatoes with rosemary, scrambled Indian tofu, lentils, vegetarian sausages, bananas seasoned with pepper, all accompanied by toast. It should be noted that Indian breakfast varies greatly depending on the region.

9 - Ceviche, Peru

This dish is a true symbol of Peru, much appreciated and of which Peruvians are particularly proud. Ceviche in the Quechua language means fresh fish and this is precisely the basic element that makes up this dish. The fish, raw and white, must be marinated in a mixture of lime juice, pepper, onion, chilli, salt and pepper, subsequently cut into cubes.

10 - Ful Medames, Egypt

Also in this case it is not the ingredients that are strange, but it is their combination with breakfast. This dish is typical of Egypt but also of neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Palestine. Basically it is a soup made with dried broad beans, cooked in special copper containers, over low heat. The specialty is then served with a condiment based on olive oil, parsley, onion, garlic and lemon juice, accompanied by the typical bread.

11 - Katogo, Uganda

Katogo is a dish based on matooke (plantain or a type of banana), Irish potatoes, cassava or sweet potatoes, with the addition of meat, beans, peas, green beans or peanuts that make up the sauce. Being a dish of poor origin, the meat is usually composed of offal: tripe and sweetbreads but also brain, feet, head, heart, liver, kidneys, tail, tongue, bovine bone marrow. In addition to being cheap, these cuts of meat seem to be very tasty and easily digestible.

12 - Gallo Pinto, Costa Rica

Like many other South American dishes, Gallo Pinto is mainly based on rise and beans. The name means spotted rooster because the colors assumed by the complete plate look like those of the plumage of a rooster. In Costa Rica, breakfast is a meal that takes on primary importance, so the dishes are very substantial and complete. The rice and beans in this dish are accompanied by eggs, sour cream, bread or the typical tortillas.

13 - Loco Moco, Hawaii (USA)

This traditional Hawaiian breakfast looks more like it a heavy dinner: at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, for example, the Loco moco wins a total of 871 calories! For its preparation, you start with rice, add a patty hamburger on which you pour the sauce, and complete the dish with a fried egg.

14 - Filmjölk, Scandinavia

It is a dish made from fermented milk and remember, both for the production process and for the taste, a little yogurt, a little sour cream and buttermilk. It is traditionally eaten in the morning with the addition of mixed cereals.

15 - Scrapple, USA

Also known by the name Pennsylvania Dutch it is a compound based on pork scraps and crushed meat scraps mixed with corn and wheat flour, buckwheat flour and spices. The mixture is then made into a semi-solid loaf and cut into slices, which are then fried in a pan before being served. It is a typically American dish consumed mainly in the Mid-Atlantic states, namely Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, also very popular among religious communities such as the Mennonites and the Amish.

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