Japanese Breakfast

By Raleigh-Elizabeth. Image by K. Blueice

“Never eat anything for breakfast you wouldn’t eat for dinner.” 

This great advice was served to Jeffrey Ozawa, or Gorumando, along with a traditional Japanese breakfast one morning in the Japanese countryside. One by one, a little old woman in a little pink kimono dished up the traditional Japanese dishes of rice, pickles, green tea, miso soup, and broiled fish. A perfect, traditional morning routine.

Breakfasts in other cultures have long intrigued me (partly because I’m so resistant to our own Lucky Charms and pancakes variety) but the Japanese breakfast holds a peculiar fascination: it’s like they skipped breakfast and went straight on to lunch.

Not too long ago, a friend took her little girls to Japan. Even when they weren’t enjoying all the beautiful pastries Japan offers today, the traditional miso soup and rice breakfasts went over pretty well with her daughters. The sometimes-raw fish… not so much, but the bento-box like offerings of a traditional Japanese breakfast are just as delicious in the morning as they are at lunch or, according to the little old lady in the little pink kimono, dinner.

When it comes to traditional offerings, this is a far cry from the Italian cornetto dipped in espresso or the French croissant and cafe au lait. These dainty little forays into the devilishly good dessert-like breakfasts stand in stark contrast to the health-conscious, arguably good-for-you version native to Japan.

German breakfast is another anomaly. For a savory-fanatic like me, it’s the stuff of legend. Cheeses, jams, smoked fish, cured meats, fruits, every seeded bread you can imagine… breakfast just doesn’t get much better than that. Neither does lunch or dinner, for that matter. (If you tell me a man cannot live on bread and cheese alone, I might concur. But add in some cured salami, and I could live happily for a lifetime.)

But for all that’s different, the German breakfast and the Japanese breakfast have one thing in common: they are both a taste of the rest of the day. And if you’re anything like me, a taste of what’s to come is the best way to get happy about a new day. Especially if it’s served with salami.

After all, salami really is just as delicious at dinner.

Tell me: What’s your favorite breakfast? Are you an oatmeal nut, or can you be appeased by a piece of leftover pizza from last night? Would you enjoy the traditional Japanese breakfast or German breakfast more?