A ‘full English’ or a ‘fry-up’, as it is sometimes known, may not be the healthiest of starts to the day. But it’s still a popular choice in cafes up and down the UK.

The traditional English breakfast is thought to have originated during the Industrial Revolution, when working class men would burn up to 6,000 calories a day. Now that people live much more sedentary lives, they don’t need to consume as much on a regular basis. Instead, the meal is usually only eaten as a weekend or holiday treat.

A full English breakfast consists of bacon, eggs, sausages, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and toast. It might also have baked beans, fried bread or black pudding (a kind of sausage made from animal blood). It is usually drunk with a cup of tea or coffee.

A full English breakfast is so popular in Britain, that some cafes offer the meal as an ‘all-day breakfast’, which can be eaten at any time.


originate, verb, to come or start from a particular place
calorie, noun [C], a unit for measuring the amount of energy that food will produce
sedentary, adjective, spending a lot of time sitting down or not moving
consume, verb, formal, to eat or drink
treat, noun [C], something special
consist of something, phrasal verb, made of different things

Picture: Ewan Munro via Flickr, CC-BY-SA 2.0