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Uncovering the History of Breakfast Foods

Wed, Oct 20, 2021 at 10:50AM

Uncovering the History of Breakfast Foods

Do you ever wonder how your favorite breakfast meals came to be? After all, plenty of our favorite morning dishes date back decades or even centuries. From the meal’s lack of popularity during the Middle Ages in Europe, to the rise of breakfast and brunch outings today, read on to discover the many stories that populate your breakfast plate!

Why is it Called “Breakfast?”

You may not know that the word for dinner once meant “breakfast!” The word “dinner” comes from Latin – the word "disjejunare," when literally translated, means to “break the fast” – and this is how we referred to the first meal of the day. Eventually, however, the word’s meaning shifted to become the evening “dinner” we know today. By the 15th century, we began to see “breakfast” used as a term for our morning meal. Is all this talk about meals making you hungry yet? Here are some more little-known secrets about our best breakfast foods.

How Did Pancakes Get Invented?

Pancakes have history tracing back even to the Stone Age – where flour and water were baked on a rock. Later, the Greeks and the Romans created different forms of pancakes, including ingredients such as olive oil and honey. While many early pancakes – including European pancakes – were thin like crepes, the modern American-style pancakes with which we are most familiar were created with the addition of a leavening agent – like baking powder.

Have Eggs Always Been Popular at Breakfast?

Eggs were often found in breakfast throughout cultures. For example, the ancient Romans ate meals including bread, cheese, olives, eggs, and meats. However, later in history, views on gluttony began to shrink the size of the morning meal.

By the 1920s, eggs and bacon were ready to make a comeback, marketed as the ideal choice for an important, heavy breakfast to start off the day. With so many delicious options, we certainly aren’t opposed to this idea of the ideal American breakfast!

Who Ate Oatmeal First?

Oatmeal is a modern-day, go-to choice for a healthy breakfast. But before oatmeal, porridge was a common food, produced as far back as the Paleolithic times. Later, as staple of Roman soldiers’ diets, the dish was called “pulmentus.” Nowadays, as a similar dish instead made from oats, our modern oatmeal is best enjoyed with some extra sweetness and delicious toppings – like brown sugar and raisins!

What Breakfast Drinks Did People Prefer?

Cup of coffee anyone? This best breakfast beverage traces its history to Ethiopia, perhaps as early as the 800s. Later, the 1500s saw the first shipments of coffee to Venice, where the wealthy enjoyed the beverage to the profit of local merchants. Before the popularity of coffee for breakfast, many people started their day with alcohol. Ancient Egyptians would often enjoy a morning meal of bread and beer, and ancient Greeks and Romans enjoyed wine in the morning. Orange juice has its manufacturing history in World War II – when the government looked for a nutritional choice for soldiers and developed frozen concentrated orange juice. However, its means of preparation and taste were improved over time to develop the best breakfast beverage we know and love today.

Whether you’re enjoying a hot cup of coffee or a bubbly mimosa, a fluffy stack of pancakes or a flavor-packed omelet, remember the long history of breakfast that has led up to the meal you know and love today! Now is the perfect time to fuel up with the best breakfast restaurants in Gainesville and beyond – so stop by your local Peach Valley Café to enjoy all the best and freshest ingredients.


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My Location: Ormond Beach - East
Closed - Today's Hours: 7:00 AM - 2:30 PM