Friday, July 15

Breakfast is served

While spending time in the spa town of Bibione, in the Veneto area, I came across a charming sign in a bar, touting its breakfast offerings.  Clearly trying to lure in the multi-cultural clientele, they were proffering three types of breakfast options:

Continental Breakfast
Breakfast Italiano
German Breakfast

I stopped in for a quick cappuccino & brioche, and pondered the differences.  Although I was on the continent (albeit a stone's throw from the former Republic of the Serenissima), a truly continental experience includes a croissant (mistakenly called 'brioche' in Italian, which is an altogether different item), coffee or tea (and here, I wonder if you get your tea English-style with milk as well), and a glass of orange juice (which in Italy, there is none better, especially if it's blood-red orange-style).  Hotels have since taken it further, with a whole banquet of breakfast offerings, including yogurt and anything else not salty (like the British eggs & bacon).

According to my most favorite website on earth, : A typical German breakfast (Frühstück) falls somewhere between what we'd call a deli platter and a continental breakfast. Cold meats (including their famous sausages) and cheeses are served alongside a variety of breads and sweet toppings like jam, marmalade and honey. Soft-boiled eggs, cereal and fruit would round out a large breakfast.
[Be sure to click the link above to see the terrific photo he's added there as an indicator, and the recipes, of course, not that I believe he's going to show us how to gut, slice & cure a pig for sausage consumption].

Italians, on the other hand, who win hands down on every culture on earth for eating habits, garner however the worst slot in their breakfast offerings.  In households across the country, kids are served as their daily dose of 'brain food', nothing more than a few dry & tasteless cookies and a cup of warm milk or cocoa.  Daring mammas allow for the bread & nutella spread each morning, adding a dose of protein with their sugar.  Kellogg's has been trying to change this habit for decades, and, judging by supermarket aisles, they're finally succeeding. Nonetheless, breakfast in the Bel Paese usually keeps you hungry and hankering for the fantabulous lunch (pranzo) soon to follow.

As for my little breakfast place?  Although they get an 'A' for effort on the 'catering to the clientele' front, the sign was curiously posted only in Italian.  How many Germans looking for their Frühstück, actually stuck their head in the door each summer day is beyond me.


Dave514 said...

Gotta have my eggs and bacon. The biggest breakfasts I've ever encountered were in Holland. They were good for two hours.


Tony D. said...

If it wasn't for Kellogg's corn flakes and some of the best yogurt in EU, I would have starved to death at breakfast in Italy.

Dave514 said...

Tony D:
I don't know where you stayed, but in roma I had my own problems. In Firenze, I stayed at the Hotel Pitti Palace, I had fresh fruit/fruit salad, oiled beggs, rolls/toast, butter/jam, tea/coffee as much as you wanted.

You gotta know the territory.


Murissa said...

Breakfast was not the most ideal meal in Italy for me either. It was often runny yogurt, croissants that were too sweet with powdered sugar on top (unlike the buttery savoury ones from Paris). I craved bacon and eggs after the first 3 weeks. The only place that really offered it was Florence and even they were not the bacon and eggs I know.
However, one thing I do miss about breakfasts in Italy are the amazing Cappuccinos!

The Wanderfull Traveler

Irreverent Italy said...

I must chime in: When on business in the Veneto Region, a client hosted me at the wondrous Cipriani Hotel in Asolo, where the Queen Mother used to stay.

At breakfast, we were served figs & prosciutto and I can fairly easily attest that it's probably the main reason why I live in Italy today.

As for the usual biscotti - dipped - in milk or cappuccino, it's the closest thing you can get to actually eating a soggy park bench.