If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s no surprise that chefs around the world have also conspired to make it the tastiest. Some breakfast foods are so popular they can be found just about anywhere, while others are still some countries’ best-kept secrets.
From egg pastries to waffles, sausages and everything in between, the number of appetizers in the world is matched only by the countless people eager to eat them. So if your stomach is ready to begin its multi-continental journey, here are ten breakfast foods from around the world that you must try.
Related: 10 food inventions that changed the way we eat breakfast
ten Arepa (Venezuela)
Made with ground cornmeal or flour, these flat, round patties are the versatile centerpiece of many Venezuelan meals, including breakfast! Arepas can be prepared in many ways, such as on a grill, baked, fried, boiled or steamed.
Depending on the region, an arepa will vary in color, flavor and size, but also what delicious combination of ingredients is stuffed inside. Avocados, chicken, eggs, and savory Venezuelan cottage cheese are just a few favorite breakfast toppings. For an even heartier breakfast, try adding beans, salad, or assorted meats as well.
With over 70 distinct forms of preparation in the neighboring country of Colombia, it’s easy to see – and easier to taste – why arepa has been a staple in the northern region of South America for thousands. of years.
9 Silog (Philippines)
Silog is a Filipino breakfast dish made with fried eggs and sinangag (fried rice). Originally called tapsilog, which included sinangag and beef tapa, silog eventually became so popular that late-night hangover food found its way onto restaurant breakfast menus and fast food chains.
All types of silog feature the main ingredient of the dish, garlic fried rice, often accompanied by a fried egg. After that, however, the sheer number of variations of this incredibly malleable breakfast is a feast for the eyes.
To make it more digestible, here are some of the most popular silogs: hotsilog (hot dog, fried rice and fried egg), tosilog (corn pork, fried rice and fried egg) and longsilog (Filipino-style sausages) . , fried rice and fried egg). Want to silog again?
8 Menemen (Turkey)
Originating from the province of Izmir in Turkey, menemen is a traditional Turkish tomato-based spread that will spice up your mornings. Menemen is a mixture of finely diced or grated tomatoes with sautéed green chilies and beaten eggs topped with spices like ground black and red pepper, oregano and garlic. You will usually find menemen served in metal pans next to a large basket of bread in a restaurant. The spread is scooped right up with the bread so you can forget about the silverware.
When served for breakfast or brunch, most chefs often forgo the addition of onions, which is a common ingredient on lunch or dinner menus. Beware, however, as many menemen lovers will argue vehemently on behalf of the vegetable. Other menemen takes bring cheese, spinach, and chunks of sausage into the mix. Needless to say, this is a spread that won’t make you regret leaving your bed.
seven Ful Medames (Egypt)
Since the days of ancient Egypt, ful ladies have satisfied that morning hunger of man and pharaoh. The simple yet timeless recipe features slow-cooked fava beans and chickpeas spiced with lemon juice, parsley, cumin, chilli and onion. Hard-boiled eggs are a popular addition, along with a piece of pita bread and diced vegetables.
When prepared and served the traditional way, ful medames arrive in the same large metal pitcher in which they were made. A favorite in Africa and the Middle East, as well as being recognized as a national dish of Egypt, ful medames has been adapted in many reincarnations.
Some regions prepare it as a hummus dip with additions of tahini, tomato, olive oil and green peppers, while others opt for green split peas, chili sauce and Aleppo or an even spicier blend of coriander, peppercorns and saffron. I suppose there is a reason why traces of the dish have been discovered in ancient graves…
6 Syrniki (Russia)
If plain old pancakes aren’t enough for you anymore, maybe it’s time to ask Mother Russia for her go-to syrniki recipe. Derived from the Slavic word sir, meaning “soft cheese”, syrniki are hand-sized patties stuffed with a soft, mild type of farmhouse cheese known as quark. The batter is made from eggs, flour and sugar, sometimes mixed with vanilla extract before both sides are browned evenly on a griddle, retaining a slightly creamy consistency.
Raisins, chopped dried apricots, apples and pears can be added to the batter, while tastier versions require the addition of onions or sour cream. Once plated, it is not uncommon to find syrniki accompanied by fresh berries, honey or jam. One taste of this Eastern European favorite and you’ll have a whole new word for pancakes: syrniki!
5 Gallo Pinto (Costa Rica)
Gallo pinto is a hot breakfast served for generations in the Central American countries of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Beginning with a hearty base of beans and rice, gallo pinto is often colored with cooked peppers, cilantro, chopped onions and garlic. Costa Rican condiment salsa Lizano – a light brown sauce similar to HP sauce or Worcestershire sauce – is another popular flavor among locals.
Several regional variations of gallo pinto define the dish across Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Valle central is a more moist, less oily variant that uses black beans, cilantro, and chili seasoning. Guanacaste, on the other hand, is fattier and prefers red beans which are popular in Nicaraguan recipes.
Gallo pinto translates to “spotted rooster” in Spanish for the dish’s black and red beans that give it a multicolored, speckled appearance. Although, if you ask me, the sound and smell of that cooked meal in the morning just might put that rooster and his dawn raven out of work.
4 Shakshuka (Israel)
Thinking about shaking up your mornings? Try Shakshuka! Derived from the Arabic term for “mix,” shakshuka is an inexpensive and easy-to-prepare hot dish for any meal of the day. This hearty meal consists of a spicy tomato sauce made with olive oil, peppers, onions and garlic and spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper. This is then topped with lightly poached or hard-boiled eggs broken just on top of the mixture until the yolks are firmed up.
Different types of bread usually accompany the shakshuka to soak up every last drop of the delicious sauce. Recommended bread includes the likes of pita, homemade flatbread, rustic crusty bread slices, challah, and crispy latkes. The best part of shakshuka? If you can’t finish it all in the morning, then your pasta sauce for dinner is already ready!
3 Churros con Chocolate (Spain)
Although the origins of this fried dough favorite are as knotty as its shape, churros — churros con chocolate, to be precise — are a beloved breakfast dish straight out of Spain. Pairing crispy, cinnamon-sugar-dusted churros batter with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, churros con chocolate is an unparalleled marriage of food and drink.
Whether you’re a die-hard sipper, dipper, or dunker, there are even more chocolatey choices to pair with your churros. Champurrado is a thicker drink, while dulce de leche is caramelized milk with a sauce-like consistency, and café con leche is strong coffee mixed with scalded milk.
Churros con chocolate is a particular favorite in the Spanish city of Madrid, which has led to the creation of regional variations inside and outside the city. Porras is a tastier version of the traditional churro thanks to its shorter, thicker waist and melted cheese filling. On the other hand, tejeringo is a thinner and more circular type of churro originating from the Spanish province of Granada. Whichever way you churro, make sure you don’t forget the chocolate!
2 Chilaquiles (Mexico)
Ever wanted an enchilada for breakfast? Well, with chilaquiles, a popular breakfast dish in Mexico, now you can! Corn tortillas are usually cut into wedges before being lightly fried or baked. After that, the tortillas are softened by pouring green or red salsa on them, then adding shredded chicken, cheese, minced onions and eggs, scrambled or fried. It’s not uncommon to find chilaquiles topped with cream, crumbled queso fresco, or sliced avocado. And to really fill a hole, servings of refried beans and guacamole are perfect side dishes.
The secret to differentiating the different versions of chilaquiles is in the sauce. Some take chilaquiles using the base of tomato and chili de rojos, while others prefer the combination of jalapeno, lime, and cilantro de verdes. Whether it’s red or green, there’s no wrong choice. After all, “chilaquiles” derives from “chīlāquilitl,” a Nahuatl term that roughly translates to “chillies and greens.”
1 Belgian waffle (Belgium)
Belgian waffles may share some similarities with their American cousins, but there are more than enough reasons why you shouldn’t dither on this take on a breakfast icon. With bigger squares and better pockets, Belgian waffles are designed to hold a variety of delicious toppings such as whipped cream, fresh fruit, melted butter and, of course, maple syrup!
The batter is made from brioche dough, and so, when combined with pearl sugar, gives Belgian waffles a light texture and subtle crunch that will be as recognizable to your ears as it is to your tongue. But don’t forget your hands, because unlike American waffles, Belgian waffles are traditionally eaten with the ten digits. So as long as you’re not afraid to stick your fingers a little, morning biters can’t go wrong with this incredible take on a breakfast table classic.