Matt Preston delves into the most important meal of the day to rate the best offerings from every corner of the globe.
Put down the Vegemite, Matt Preston’s taking brekkie global.
BREAKFASTS AROUND THE WORLD are more than just a bowl of Wheaties or a boiled egg. But where do I need to go to get the very best breakfast? For as very, very early health blogger Adelle Davis (1904-1974) famously advised, you should “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”.
So, we’ve thought long and hard about this global issue, and have come up with the world’s five best breakfasts. The French or Argentinian croissant/ medialuna with coffee; the bread and cheese of Denmark, Holland and the Middle East; and the idli,
vada and dosa of Southern India didn’t make the cut. Neither did my friend’s favourite: “an espresso martini and a hot bloke”.
EGGS TWO WAYS The ultimate egg breakfast is Tunisian in origin, even if it is now claimed by Israel. Shakshuka is poached eggs on a thick sauce of tomatoes, onions and chilli with the smoky hit of cumin seeds. This pips the egg and bean breakfasts of Guatemala and Mexico, or even their huevos rancheros.
SOUPER GOOD BREAKFAST It normally takes a while, but after a few days in Vietnam, starting another steaming day with a steaming bowl of pho makes perfect sense.
PORRIDGE Porridge is a traditional way to start the day in so many countries. But my pick would be the spelt or maize porridge made over a smoky open fire at dawn in Botswana. Topped with a dollop of peanut butter and the crunchy golden sweetness of demerara sugar, they combine the best of your morning toast with a hearty porridge to stave off the chill of a sunrise in the bush.
BREAKFAST NACHOS Yes, it is a thing. In Mexico, chilaquiles are last night’s stale tortillas cut into triangles, fried, then topped with a simple green or red chilli sauce and Mexican cheese ( queso fresco) and crema ( sort of like a Mexican sour cream). Last month I debuted my own breakfast nachos on the delicious. stage at the Noosa Food & Wine Festival: a play on the classic Aussie brekkie, smashed avocado. (Search ‘breakfast nachos’ at delicious.com.au for the recipe.) Truly delicious!
PANCAKES Moroccans get wistful about their mother’s crispy msemen pancakes loaded with clarified butter. While in Somalia and Yemen, their bubbly-fermenty lahoh pancakes are eaten with honey, butter (ghee) and a sort of chipped beef or camel jerky called oodkac. Or how about Sydney’s ricotta hotcakes that Bill Granger has taken to the world, or a big stack of Canada’s finest, with fried eggs, crispy bacon rashers and a tsunami of real maple syrup. My belly, however, says that Sri Lanka’s egg hoppers are the best. Crispy-edged fried rice flour pancakes are cooked in a bowl-shaped pan with an egg at their base and served with fresh coconut and caramelised onion chutneys that put even those South Indian idli and vada accompaniments to shame.
Closer to home, these simple bruleed pancakes with the added joy of a crisp toffee crust are perfect with the pink grapefruits now in season. But remember, the first pancake is for the hens that laid the eggs. That’s good news, as it’s always the dodgiest. Head to delicious.com.au for more of Matt’s best breakfasts.