A full breakfast is a traditional cooked meal, typically and
originally eaten at breakfast, though now often served at other times during the
Left: A full English
scrambled eggs, sausage,
black pudding, bacon, mushrooms,
baked beans, hash browns, and half a tomato.
The full breakfast traditionally comprises several fried foods, usually
including bacon and eggs although there are vegetarian alternatives, and is
popular throughout Ireland and Britain and other parts of the English-speaking
The detailed composition of the breakfast varies from place
to place. In Britain and Ireland, this cooked breakfast is often advertised as
"Traditional English Breakfast" or "Traditional Irish Breakfast", but there is
very little about it that is truly traditional in the historical sense, as it
is, for the most part, a twentieth-century concoction.
The normal ingredients of a traditional full English
breakfast are bacon, eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried
bread or toast and sausages, usually served with a mug of tea.
Black pudding is
added in some regions as well as fried leftover mashed potatoes (called
potato cakes). Originally a way to use up leftover vegetables from the main
meal of the day before,
bubble and squeak, shallow-fried leftover vegetables
with potato, has become a breakfast feature in its own right. Hash browns and
baked beans are an occasional modern addition.
When an English breakfast is ordered to contain everything available it is often
referred to as a Full English, or a Full Monty. The latter's usage
is explained by the Oxford English Dictionary: "Perhaps the most plausible
(explanation) is that it is from a colloquial shortening of the name of Montague
Maurice Burton (1885-1952), men's tailor, and referred originally to the
purchase of a complete three-piece suit".