The full English breakfast was first concocted centuries ago in the country houses, where it was considered proper to send the gentry off in the morning with a hearty meal of home-produced ingredients. Not for them the porridge or bread-and-dripping of the lower classes. During the Industrial Revolution the full, or at least half, English breakfast made its way onto the tables of many more households and by the mid-1900s they were the most popular menu item in transport cafés.
The classic recipe comprises sausages, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggs, black pudding and bread, all fried in oil (though the eggs may be scrambled or poached instead) plus baked beans. Along with this is the ubiquitous cup of tea and, if desired, toast or bread-and-butter. The meal is topped off with tomato ketchup or HP brown sauce. This little lot is around 800 calories, 60g fat and 4g salt.
There are modern versions of the ‘fry-up’ ~ the slimmers’, the vegetarian and the vegan, but they are obviously quite different. Many people just have the eggs, bacon and tomatoes. There are, of course, variations according to location, whether that is by nation, county or each individual café. This one includes hash browns and bubble-and-squeak:-
(Top image: Phil Campbell at Flickr.com / CC BY 2.0)