While the rest of Europe can keep their continental breakfast (largely consisting of melon and croissants), we're perfectly happy, if not proud, to be known for our fry-up.
It may seem like a simple dish but get your timing wrong or your ingredients on the scandalously cheap and you'll be full of regret for the rest of the day. We've been speaking to Peter Prescott, the co-owner of Albion in Shoreditch (www.albioncaff.co.uk) and he's given us his ultimate guide to the perfect cooked breakfast.
"Given the great British nature of the traditional fry-up, it seems only natural to source the components from great British suppliers. Here is a selection of the finest Albion-worthy breakfast tips:
- 2 best-quality Lincolnshire sausages (plain pork, no fancy herbs or unusual meats)
- 2 large free-range eggs (try to source from your local farm, but most supermarkets stock good eggs)
- Good quality streaky or back bacon from your butcher
- Black pudding (a lot of delis and food shops make their own, so try to avoid a cheap version. The best puddings come from Bury in Lancashire.
- 1-2 large flat mushrooms
- Tomatoes, or plum tomatoes, especially over the winter months when regular tomatoes are not very giving in flavour
- Home-made baked beans if you’re feeling adventurous (or at least splash out on Heinz if you’re not!)
- A good toasted home baked bread (we recommend toasted sour dough) and some butter (note: there are lovely English butters but in our opinion they can’t beat the French butter; the quintessential English/Albion dish with a Gallic interloper)
- Seal your sausages and tuck them away in the oven for 10-15 minutes
- Grill the black pudding and tomatoes, you can use a griddle pan for extra detail
- Do whatever you want with your eggs, fried for the grease junkie, or poached to justify eating the bacon and scrambled for decadence.
- Chop, and sauté your mushrooms, for extra flavour you could add them to the sausage pan in the oven
- Stick your beans in a saucepan and heat, whilst your bread is toasting
- Transfer it all to your plate, and voila!"
The full Albion breakfast is available all day, in the morning it is served with toast changing to bubble and squeak in the afternoon, eggs “how the customers want them” and a choice of either streaky or back bacon from a good pig complete the dish.