Some people wouldn’t dream of going to work on an empty stomach, whereas others don't eat when they get up due to lack of appetite or time. But at some point in our lives, we have all probably been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that trying to start your day without it is like trying to start a car without filling up the gas tank.
No matter what studies and research might say about breakfast — will it help you lose weight? will it make you gain weight? — the morning meal is enjoyed in one way or another in countries all around the world. What a typical breakfast plate looks like can also tell a lot about a country’s general food culture.
The traditional American spread of fried eggs, bacon, toast, and possibly potatoes might seem like an extremely heavy way to start the day to someone from France or Japan, for example. In France, the typical morning meal consists of a light snack, such as a baguette with a spread of butter and jam, or maybe the famous "Parisian breakfast" of a freshly baked croissant and a cup of coffee. In Japan, a bowl of miso soup and rice is not uncommon in the morning, and in several parts of the world, a sweet or savory porridge is a common way to start the day.
We've assembled images and descriptions of breakfast plates from 13 different countries — from India to Finland to Venezuela — and put them together in this slideshow. Click on through and get a look at "the most important meal of the day" as others eat it.
Breakfast in Argentina is a no-frills affair. You’ll find locals typically eating one of two things: toast (tostados) or medialunas, "half-moons," pastries similar to croissants but a smaller and sweeter. Of course, these are typically eaten with coffee.
Australians love their “brekkie”, and one is toast with some Vegemite (a spread of flavored yeast extract), avo (avocado), and tomato. Australians also love muesli with yoghurt, but on the other hand also favor a bacon and egg roll, which can sometimes be topped off with barbecue sauce.
Alexandra E. Petri is the travel editor at The Daily Meal.