You've heard it from doctors, nutritionists, and your mom: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It's also one of the most diverse, varying greatly from family to family and region to region, even while individuals tend to eat the same thing every day. While Americans traditionally like to chow down on eggs, cereal, and doughnuts, the Japanese eat rice and miso soup, and New Zealanders enjoy porridge. But while we know bacon and sausage links belong alongside pancakes and waffles in the early morning hours, we don't know how breakfast came to be. Taking a multifaceted approach to the story of the morning meal, The Breakfast Book collects narratives of breakfast in an attempt to pin down the mottled history of eating in the A.M. In search of what people have thought and written--and tasted--about breakfast, Andrew Dalby traces the meal's origins back to the Neolithic revolution. He follows the trail of toast crumbs from the ancient Near East and classical Greece to modern Europe and across the globe, rediscovering stories of breakfast in three thousand years of fiction, memoirs, and art. Using a multitude of entertaining breakfast facts, anecdotes, and images, he reveals why breakfast is so often the backdrop for unexpected meetings, why so many people eat breakfast out, and why this often silent meal is also so reassuring. Featuring a selection of historic and contemporary breakfast recipes from around the world, The Breakfast Book is the first book to explore the history of this inimitable meal and will make an ideal morning companion to crumpets, deviled kidneys, and spanakopita alike.
Andrew Dalby is a linguist, translator, and historian based in France. He is the author of many books including Bacchus: A Biography, Flavours of Byzantium, Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, and Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices, which was named Food Book of the Year by the Guild of Food Writers.