What is brunch?
“Brunch”, a combination of the words ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’, is enjoyed the world over. In capitals across Europe, it has become a Sunday staple. People have brunch late in the morning/early in the afternoon. It’s a unique and social meal, shared between family or friends, which combines typical breakfast and lunch items. There’s something for everyone!
When did it all start?
Contrary to popular belief, brunch isn’t a recent invention. The practice began in the US in the 19th century. Eggs Benedict, served on English muffins topped with ham, are said to have been invented at this time in New York City. It was only in 1895 that the tradition was exported to Great Britain. And the English love their brunch, which sometimes go on till late afternoon. Brunch appeared in France in the 1980s and became quickly popular with city dwellers who liked the idea of sleeping in before tucking into an original meal that was a nice change from their usual breakfast.
Brunch around the world
Brunch is a hit in the West AND elsewhere on the planet. People in Dubai enjoy their brunch on a Friday – it’s the highlight of the weekend and can end quite late in the day. The Chinese equivalent of brunch is ‘dim sum’, a Cantonese meal eaten in a tea room, called a ‘Cha Lau’. The practice is said to date back to when explorers travelled the Silk Road, and stopped every several hours to eat, rest and have tea. Nowadays, dim sum is still offered in certain Chinese restaurants.
Brunch: a little of this, a little of that, 100% tasty
The main components of a traditional brunch are hot beverages, pastries, toast and tartines, bacon and a potato dish. Other dishes are sometimes added to the menu, such as haddock at Nordic brunches or deli meats in Germany. The important thing is to create a mix of sweet and savory that tastes wonderful, fills guest up, and is enough for two meals.
Why not try one?
Many restaurants in European capitals offer this meal, particularly on the weekend. Or get creative and enjoy your own brunch in the comfort of your own home.