America at breakfast

America at breakfast – Morning Meals: North American and Mediterranean Breakfast Patterns, part 2

Louis E. Grivetti

The Anglo-Saxon contributions to American breakfast patterns were considered in Part One of this series (Grivetti, 1995). Original American breakfast patterns developed among societies native to North, Central, South America, and the Caribbean at the time of African, Asiatic, or European contact with the New World. As such, American breakfast patterns in 1995 reflect a broad range of cultural, historical, and regional contributions that have evolved through the past five centuries. While contemporary American breakfast patterns are highly amalgamated, there once were pronounced ethnic and regional patterns that lasted into the early decades of the 20th century.

American food patterns that evolved during the 16th and 17th centuries primarily reflected contributions from England, France, Holland, and Spain. Although foods of African slaves and Native Americans also contributed to the development and emergence of so-called “American cuisine”–whether for breakfast or other meals–their influences have received less attention, primarily because written accounts are scarce or lacking. It has been easier, therefore, for scholars interested in food patterns to review information from the historical literature provided by early European colonists and settlers. Although these sources are readily available in most research libraries, the accounts necessarily reflect a Eurocentric view of food.(1)


Descriptions of food patterns of Native Americans and the early colonists are well documented (Hariot, 1588; Lane, 1586) but contain little information specifically on breakfast. The first documents that specifically discuss breakfast in America date to the early 17th century and clearly identify three breakfast foods served to students at Harvard University in 1635 (Morison, 1936). Three foods, collectively known as the “three B’s,” formed the central components of university student diet, and were consumed in the early morning: beer, beef, and bread (Grivetti, 1985).

Harvard University students in 1635 exhibited a daily meal pattern that consisted of two formal meals and two “beverage” periods. The first formal meal–not the first period of eating–was called dinner, and was taken at midday. The second formal meal, called supper, was served in the evening. At both formal meals, students were served commons, defined as ample quantities of food offered in communal bowls or trays. Augmenting the two formal meals were two daily bevers or “beverage periods.” The first bever was prepared and eaten during early morning, usually before dawn, and ultimately became the equivalent to the English term “breakfast.” The second bever was a midafternoon “beverage snack.” At each bever, two foods–beer and bread–were served in portions and quantities called sizings. Harvard students from wealthy families reportedly augmented and supplemented their sizings with purchases of butter or cheese (Morison, 1936).


Documents from 18th century colonial Virginia describe breakfasts at Montecello, Thomas Jefferson’s estate. There, breakfast was served at 9:00 am and consisted of varieties of hot breads served with cold meats, bacon and eggs, fried apples, and “batter-cakes,” known in modern American English as “pancakes” (Kimball, 1976).


Breakfast patterns of university students also are known from the early 19th century. One breakfast account from 1828 reveals that students at the University of Georgia typically were served coffee and tea, maize and wheat breads, and bacon or beef, either fried or baked with butter (Coulter, 1928). Students at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, in 1834 ate breakfasts that included salted fish (herring or mackerel), cold meat, bread with butter, and coffee (Skillman, 1932). These relatively limited breakfast offerings eaten by American university students during previous centuries may be contrasted with the broad range of breakfast foods served to students in recent years at two American Universities (Table 1).

Table 1 American Breakfast Foods: Two Universities Compared, 1993

Western State College, Gunnison, Colorado(a)

Weekly breakfast cycle

Monday: pancakes; link sausages; fried potatoes; coffee cake

Tuesday: French waffles; bacon; fried potatoes

Wednesday: French toast; corned-beef hash; fried potatoes; cinnamon rolls

Thursday: waffles; ham; hashed brown potatoes; cinnamon coffee cake

Friday: pancakes; sausage patties; home-fried potatoes; buttermilk biscuits

Saturday: waffles; bacon; fried potatoes; banana nut bread

Sunday: morning: French toast; corned-beef hash; fried potatoes;

Sunday: mid-morning (ie brunch): Western chili; vegetable soup; beef-barley soup; French dip sandwich (roast beef); chili nachos; corn; French toast; corned-beef hash; fried potatoes;

Foods presented each day: scrambled eggs; sausage gravy and biscuits; plain omelet; fried eggs; cream of wheat; oatmeal; maple syrup; blueberry syrup; coffee.

University of California, Davis

Weekly breakfast cycle

Monday: Buttermilk pancakes; fried potatoes; turkey Canadian bacon; oatmeal; coffee cake;

Tuesday: French waffles; fried potatoes; sausage-fried potatoes; sausage patties; cream of wheat; zucchini biscuits;

Wednesday: sesame French toast; shrimp; boiled potatoes; turkey ham; cream of rice; pastry;

Thursday: pineapple fritters; broccoli; hashed brown potatoes; bacon; pastry;

Friday: oatmeal apple-raisin pancakes; provolone cheese; fried potatoes; link sausage; oatmeal; blueberry bread; Saturday: waffles; flaked fish; fried potatoes; ham; cream of wheat; sweet bread;

Sunday: buttermilk pancakes; green onions; hashed brown potatoes; bacon; grits; buttermilk biscuits;

Foods presented each day: boiled eggs; scrambled eggs; white rice; bran muffins; donuts; granola; dry cereal; fruit toppings, apple, or blueberry syrup; avocado; blueberry, peach, or strawberry preserves, whipped cream; milk; chocolate milk; cocoa; orange juice; grape juice; coffee; tea; herbal tea.

(a)Menu Reports, Academic year 1993.


Better documentation of American breakfasts begins in the mid-19th century, when authors identified typical breakfast foods in a variety of settings.

Breakfasts typical of poor, rural areas consisted of

“Cold roast fowl and tongue, chopped then mixed in a mortar with salt, Cayenne, mace, and nutmeg, then preserved by pouring lard over the top…” (Hill, 1841).

Breakfasts typical of wealthy, urban areas consisted of

“Lemon cake; butter in ice; caramel bon-bon basket; preserved pineapple, melon, or cucumber; potted salmon; partridges preserved in ginger; ginger cream; ham in jelly; anchovy butter; strawberry jelly; pastry sandwiches with marmalade and jams; chocolate water; milk coffee; tea; tarts; preserved oranges or West Indian fruits; perfumed biscuits; almond butter; honeycomb; wine jelly; coffee cream; potted lobster; turkey in jelly; orange-flower cakes; potted pigeons; tongue in jelly…” (Dods, 1847).

By the late 19th century, however, breakfast recommendations from cooking schools appear. Publications from the well-known Fanny Farmer cooking school identified 10 patterns that “educated” women could follow to provide variety to the morning meal:

1. Oranges; oatmeal with sugar and cream; broiled ham; creamed potatoes; popovers; coffee

2. Bananas; toasted wheat with sugar and cream; scrambled eggs; sauteed potatoes; griddle cakes (ie pancakes); coffee

3. Oranges; wheat germ with sugar and cream; lamb; French-fried potatoes; raised biscuits; buckwheat cakes with maple syrup; coffee

4. Strawberries; hominy with sugar and cream; bacon and fried eggs; baked potatoes; rye muffins; coffee

5. Raspberries; shredded wheat biscuits; dried smoked beef in cream; hashed brown potatoes; baking-powder biscuits; coffee

6. Pears; wheat cereal with sugar and cream; corned-beef hash; milk toast; coffee

7. Grapes; cereal with fruit; fried smelt; baked sweet potatoes; sliced tomatoes; oatmeal muffins; coffee

8. Oatmeal mush with apples; hamburger steak; creamed potatoes; white corn cake; coffee

9. Creamed wheat with sugar and cream; fish hash; buttered Graham [flour] toast; strawberry short cake; coffee

10. Grapes; wheat germ with sugar and cream; lamb chops; baked potatoes; raised muffins; doughnuts and coffee (Farmer, 1896).

By the turn of the 20th century, more writers on American food-related customs described the timing and seasonal changes in breakfast patterns, as well as regional and ethnic information:

The basic (early morning) breakfast of wealthy Americans consisted of

“Grapefruit with rum and sugar; cereal with cream or fruit; oysters with mushrooms or eggs; toast or other hot bread such as waffles, corn cakes, pancakes; coffee; and coffee cake…” (Pierce, 1907).

The basic (noontime) breakfast of wealthy Americans, in contrast, consisted of

“Little neck clams; cold wine soup; angels on horseback [sliced oysters and bacon dusted with Cayenne, broiled and garnished with lemon and parsley or cress]; chicken patties [deboned chicken mixed with mushrooms, milk, and seasoned with salt and pepper]; Newberg lobster; green peas with new turnips; grapefruit sherbet; broiled birds with orange salad; white custards; cannelons [fluted pastries] with jelly; strawberries in cream; black coffee…” (Pierce, 1907).

Breakfast patterns of the wealthy also reflected seasonality:

“[In Spring] serve … strawberries with sugar; planked fish with sliced cucumbers; deviled sweetbreads and mushrooms on toast; potatoes; hot rolls; brandy peaches; waffles and hot syrup; coffee.

[In Autumn] serve … creamed lobster; browned [pork-beef] chops; fried potatoes; browned rice; ice cream and white cake…” (Pierce, 1907).

With the end of World War I, the Great Depression, and the New Deal, breakfast patterns of the mid-20th century become highly diversified and were described by a broad range of writers.

Several pre-World War II accounts provide information on general American breakfast patterns and consider the issue of whether or not seasonality should affect the first meal of the day:

“[Generally] breakfast foods should include…

“Fruit; cereal (whether breakfast cereal or bread); a protein dish (recommended items include bacon, eggs, fish, and ham); a beverage (whether milk cocoa, coffee, or tea); and jam, jelly, or marmalade…;

“[but in Summer] serve…

“Ready-to-serve cereal with fresh berries with milk and sugar; parsley omelet; toasted rolls; marmalade or jam; coffee for adults and milk for children…

“[and in Winter] serve…

“Sliced oranges; cooked cereal; fried bacon; toasted raisin bread; jam; coffee for adults and cocoa for children” (Robertson, 1938).

Other cooking schools provided a broad range of breakfast recommendations and suggestions, as shown in the following patterns:

1. Baked apples with orange marmalade filling; cornmeal cakes; codfish balls with bacon; coffee

2. Baked pears; braised brains, grilled tomatoes; bran muffins; hot chocolate

3. Cornflakes topped with fruit, cream, and sugar; creamed chipped-beef omelet; plum cake; coffee

4. Grapefruit or strawberries with cornflakes; kidney stew; waffles; coffee

5. Fruit platter; calves’ liver with sour cream; bacon fritters

6. Grilled ham with barbecued sauce; blueberry waffles; coffee

7. Grapefruit broiled with brown sugar and sherry; cornmeal turnovers with creamed chicken

8. Strawberries with cornflakes; broiled salted mackerel; boiled potatoes; corn bread

9. Honeydew melon; eggs; Austrian coffee cake; coffee

10. Baked pears with chipped ginger; eggs Parisian style; blueberry muffins; coffee (Lang, 1939).

Such culinary institute reports represent one view of typical American breakfasts, but it is unlikely that these pre-World War II suggestions had much impact, generally, throughout America. I was born in Montana and raised on the West Coast at the time of Lang’s breakfast suggestions identified above, and can state categorically that “baked pears with chipped ginger,” “braised brains and grilled tomatoes,” or “cornmeal turnovers with creamed chicken” were not part of the traditional Grivetti household breakfast pattern. Breakfasts in our house–and in the homes of my friends–generally fit a repetitive cycle of oatmeal with milk and sugar, breakfast cereal with milk and sliced bananas, bacon-sausage, pancakes-waffles, juice, and milk. Items such as “broiled, salted mackerel” never crossed the threshold of my mother’s kitchen or that of my grandmother (on either side of my family).


A range of typical American regional and ethnic breakfast foods and patterns may be identified from 20th century sources:

New Hampshire: “Wild strawberries and cream; trout dipped in corn meal and sauteed in butter or bacon fat; bacon; pastry popovers; wild honey; coffee….”

Connecticut: “Huckleberries and cream; creamed salted codfish with boiled or baked potatoes, garnished with chopped hardboiled eggs; tomatoes simmered and stewed with onions, salt, and fresh pepper; toast; plum jam; coffee….”

South Carolina: “Papaya with lime; shrimp paste seasoned with nutmeg, salt, and Tabasco[R]; hominy grits; waffles, creamed chicken, Virginia ham; beaten biscuits; honey; coffee….”

Louisiana: “Venison chops; scrambled eggs; chaurice; hominy grits; biscuits; jelly; coffee….”

California: “Strawberries sprinkled with sugar and orange juice; Hangtown Fry; cherry tomatoes heated in butter and sprinkled with thyme; bacon; dates and cheddar cheese; coffee….”

Basque breakfast: “Corn-meal porridge fried in goose fat, lard, bacon fat or butter; piperade; apples soaked in red wine, cinnamon, and cloves; coffee….”

Pennsylvania Dutch breakfast: “Stewed plums; scrapple; creamed eggs sprinkled with parsley; apples fried in butter or bacon fat and sprinkled with sugar….”

Polish breakfast: “Rye bread and butter; kielbasa; hard-boiled eggs served with chili sauce, mustard, or horse-radish; coffee cake filled with almonds or poppy seeds and honey and filled with prunes, raisins, or jelly; coffee…” (Brown and Brown, 1961).

Publications on general American breakfast patterns during the 1970s have included general descriptions, as well as vegetarian choices.

General breakfast patterns:

1. Spiced baked pears; scrambled eggs; hashed brown potatoes; bacon; corn muffins with marmalade; coffee

2. Grapefruit; scrambled eggs with cheese; link pork sausages; apple pancakes with honey; coffee

3. Honeydew melon; eggs; bacon; coffee (Curtis, 1972).

Breakfast recommendations for vegetarians:

Toast and butter; toast with peanut butter, almond butter, ricotta cheese; Jack or Swiss cheese on toast; bagels; cottage cheese; mock sour cream; sliced bananas, raisins or dates, dried apricots or nuts with hot cereal; milk or buttermilk and cottage cheese with hot cereal; toasted wheat germ; toasted sunflower and sesame seeds; beans and pickled radishes; pancakes with beans; blackstrap molasses or fresh fruit sauces like apple sauce; yogurt, soy milk; herbal tea (red clover blossom, lemon grass, spearmint, chamomile, raspberry leaf, rose hip teas, anise seed or clove tea, mint tea); sprouts from mung bean, garbanzos, dried peas, lentils, alfalfa seeds, mustard seed sprouts (Robertson, Flinders, and Godfrey, 1976).


The earliest specific food-related breakfast advertisement in the United States I have located is for a product called breakfast cocoa, produced at Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1896. The content and focus of breakfast-related advertisements in subsequent decades reveals three broad themes: (1) promotion efforts for specific breakfast foods, (2) promotion efforts for breakfast-related equipment and utensils, and (3) advertising use of breakfast foods to promote political-social issues.

Since 1896, most breakfast-related advertisements have focused upon ready-to-eat processed cereals, especially: All Bran[R], Corn Flakes[R], Cream of Wheat[R], Puffed Rice[R], Puffed Wheat[R], Quaker Oats[R], Rice Krispies[R], Shredded Ralston[R], and Shredded Wheat[R]. Advertisements for breakfast-related equipment generally have been directed to encourage consumers to purchase coffee makers, juicers, waffle irons, and other labor-saving devices. Examples of social-political issues identified in breakfast advertisements include promotion of suffrage rights for American women (Shredded Wheat[R], 1913), reflections on the Soviet revolution (Shredded Wheat[R], 1917), and World War II home-front issues (Rice Krispies[R], 1943).


During September, 1993, I conducted a nonrandom survey in north-central California of commercial establishments that served breakfast. In this geographical area, five categories of restaurants can be identified: “up-scale,” family-style, coffee-shop, specialty-ethnic, and fast-food outlets. Menus were secured from establishments that wished to cooperate and summarized to identify the foods offered, specifically, for breakfast.(2)

Three conclusions could be drawn. First was the extensive diversity of choice and variations in manner of cooking and preparing breakfast foods. Many of these regional establishments also offered their clientele a wide range of food-related options, including: low salt or nonsodium salt substitutes; lowfat or nonfat milks; foods fried in mono- or unsaturated fats, instead of lard or fat drippings; caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, tea, and sodas; cholesterol-free butter substitutes; nonanimal product dairy substitutes; low-cholesterol eggs or egg substitutes; sugar substitutes; and low-calorie syrups.

Second, a very broad array of breakfast beverages were served that ranged from “traditional” to exotic. Alcoholic beverages, for example, were available for breakfast at two of the establishments surveyed. At one coffee shop, black cherry, red raspberry, and tangerine juices were available.

Third, a wide range of nontraditional breakfast foods had achieved widespread commercial penetration in this region of north-central California during the past decade. A selection of these nontraditional breakfast items included: bagels and specialty breads such as banana-nut, cinnamon-raisin, orange, and sourdough varieties; specialty pancakes and waffles with an array of fruit toppings; widespread availability of Mexican salsa and Louisiana Tabasco[R] as breakfast condiments; cholesterol-free egg substitutes; chicken and seafood items for breakfast, specifically crab and shrimp; specialty porkbeef sausages such as chorizo, linguica, and salami; breakfast fruits, legumes, and vegetables such as alfalfa sprouts, avocado, broccoli, and tomatoes; and specialty breakfast sandwiches, for example, breakfast burritos and chicken fajitas; even refried beans and taco omelets for breakfast.

In this geographical region of north-central California, the most commonly offered breakfast items by food category were:

Beverages: coffee (regular and decaffeinated); grapefruit, orange, and tomato juice; milk; soft drinks (sodas); hot and iced tea

Breads: wheat bread and toast, and rye toast; French toast; branstyle and English muffins; pancakes; tortillas; and Belgian waffles

Cereals: oatmeal and commercial dry cereals (served with milk)

Condiments: catsup; black pepper; salt; and Tabasco

Dairy items: butter; butter substitutes (margarine); cheddar cheese; cream and cream substitutes

Eggs: eggs (fried and scrambled); omelets; egg substitutes

Fruits: melon

Meats: bacon; beef patties and steaks; sliced ham; link and patty pork sausage

Sweeteners: granulated sugar and sugar substitutes

Vegetables: onions; bell peppers; hash-brown potatoes

Miscellaneous: jams and jellies; mushrooms; and maple syrup.

The traditional Anglo-Saxon breakfast pattern that emerged in the British Isles and ultimately was transferred to North America has undergone dramatic changes in content, seasonal variety, and ethnic contribution during the past four centuries. The original so-called “Anglo-Saxon-American” breakfast pattern generally is perceived as high in calories, protein, and fat. The American breakfast pattern, in turn, evolved primarily from Anglo-Saxon cultural influences and in 1995 commonly reflects a composition pattern high in both calories and fat, not unlike classical English breakfast patterns.

At least four breakfast patterns may be identified in America today:

Type 1: high-protein–high-fat-low-carbohydrate pattern, whereby consumers may ingest a diversity of fatty meats, egg dishes, and fried foods that total 1500 calories or more

Type 2: high-protein–high-fat-low-carbohydrate, with one third to one half the calories of Type 1

Type 3: low-protein-low-fat–high-carbohydrate, a pattern seen more commonly in the United States in recent years, characterized by cereals and fruits consumed instead of breakfast meats, egg dishes, and other fried foods; such breakfasts, frequently high in fiber, may contribute 300 to 500 calories to daily food intake

Type 4: low-calorie–high-caffeine, whereby consumers merely drink several cups of coffee, and skip breakfast altogether.

Although many Americans consume a heavy breakfast high in fat and calories, the most common American breakfast pattern of the past several decades has been to skip this meal regularly or drink only a cup of coffee. Indeed, breakfast is omitted by more American teenagers than any other age group, and more females than males skip breakfast, possibly because meal-skipping is associated with dieting and used as a means of controlling weight (Mahan and Rees, 1984; Guthrie, 1986).

Skipping breakfast, of course, is an ill-advised approach to weight management, and obesity control should be based upon combined efforts and counseling that blend caloric restriction, reducing fat intake as a percentage of calories consumed, and increasing energy expenditure through daily activities and aerobic exercise.

Currently in the United States more than 40% of meals are consumed outside the home, a percentage that is predicted to rise by the year 2001 and beyond, when it may be that less than 50% of meals eaten by Americans will be prepared in the home. While American nutrition educators are concerned that many foods available at “fast-food” establishments are high in saturated fat and sodium, restaurant managers I have interviewed have expressed willingness to offer low-fat, low-sodium menu items; reduce use of dietary fats and oils in food preparation; and offer low-cholesterol or cholesterol-free egg substitutes. Even “bacon” has changed in recent years, and now bacon substitutes manufactured from soy products or from turkey are appearing as breakfast menu items.

This essay has considered the historical evidence for patterns and changes in American breakfasts since the 17th century. Part 3 (conclusion of this series) will compare morning meals of American and Mediterranean societies, set within the current debate of “healthful eating.”


Brown HE, Brown PS. Breakfasts & brunches for every occasion. New York: Doubleday, 1961.

Coulter EM. College life in the old South. New York: Macmillan, 1928.

Curtis P. The breakfast and brunch book. A Guide to a Great American Tradition. New York: Winter House, 1972.

Dods M. The cook and housewife’s manual. A practical system of modern domestic cookery and family management. Containing a compendium of French cookery, and of fashionable confectionary, preparations for invalids and convalescents, a selection of cheap dishes, and numerous useful miscellaneous receipts in the various branches of domestic economy…to which is added a comprehensive treatise on domestic brewing. 8th ed. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1847.

Farmer FM. The original Boston Cooking-School cook book. A facsimile of the first edition of the Boston Cooking-School cook book. New York: Weathervane, 1896.

Grivetti LE. Harding Distinguished Lecture. Beer-beef-bread: a perspective on food and health of university-age students. In: Howard JW, ed. Nutrition in action. IV. The relation of nutrition to health in young adults. Proceedings of the Fourth Ethel Austin Martin Visiting Professorship in Human Nutrition at South Dakota State University. Brookings, SD: Human Nutriton Fund Committee. SD State University, 1985:1-16.

Grivetti LE. Morning meals: North American and Mediterranean breakfast patterns. Part 1. The Anglo-Saxon heritage. Nutr Today 1995; 30:24-9.

Guthrie HA. Eating trends and nutritional consequences [introduction]. In: FNB-NRC [Food and Nutrition Board, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council]. What is America eating? Proceedings of a symposium. Washington DC: National Academy Press, 1986:87-90.

Hariot, Thomas. A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia: of the commodities there found and to be raysed, as well marchantable, as others for victuall, buyilding and other necessarie vses for those that are and shalbe the planters there; and of the nature and manners of the naturall inhabitants: discouered by the English colony there seated by Sir Richard Greinuile Knight in the yeere 1585 which remained vnder the gouernment of Ralfe Lane Esquiere, one of Her Maiesties esquieres, during the space of twelue monethes: at the speciall charge and direction of the Honourable Sir Walter Raleigh Knight, Lord Warden of the Stanneries; who therein hath beene fauoured and authorised by Her Maiestie and Her letters patents: directed to the aduenturers, fauourers, and welwillers of the action, for the inhabiting and planting there. By Thomas Hariot; seruant to the abouenamed Sir Walter, a member of the colony, and there imployed in discouering. London: [n.p.], 1588:317-87. In: Quinn DB, ed. The Roanoke voyages, 1584-1590. Documents to illustrate the English voyages to North America under the patent granted to Walter Raleigh in 1584. Vol. 1. The Hakluyt Society, Series 2, Vol. 104. London: The Hakluyt Society, 1955.

Hill BE. The epicure’s almanac; or diary of good Living; containing a choice and original receipt or a valuable hint for every day in the year. The result of actual experience, applicable to the enjoyment of the good things of this life, consistently with the views of those who study genteel economy. London: How and Parsons, 1841.

Kimball M. Thomas Jefferson’s cook book. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1976.

Lane R. An account of the particularities of the imployments of the English men left in Virginia by Sir Richard Greinuile vnder the charge of Master Ralfe Lane Generall of the Ame, from the 17[th] of August, 1585, vntill the 18[th] of Iune, 1586, at which time they departed the countrie: sent and directed to Sir Walter Raleigh. London, [n.p.], 1586. In: Quinn DB, ed. The Roanoke voyages, 1584-1590. Documents to illustrate the English voyages to North America under the patent granted to Walter Raleigh in 1584. Vol. 1. The Hakluyt Society, Series 2, Vol. 104. London: The Hakluyt Society, 1955:255-94.

Lang GT. The complete menu book. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1939.

Mahan LK, Rees JM. Nutrition in adolescence. St. Louis: Times Mirror-Mosby, 1984.

Morison SE. Harvard College in the seventeenth century. 2 Vols. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1936.

Pierce P. Breakfasts and teas. Novel suggestions for social occasions. Chicago: Brewer, Barse, and Company, 1907.

Robertson H. Cassell’s new cookery book of British and American dishes. London: Cassell, 1938.

Robertson L, Flinders C, Godfrey B. Laurel’s kitchen. A handbook for vegetarian cookery and nutrition. Berkeley, California: Nilgiri Press, 1976.

Skillman DB. The biography of a college. Being the history of the first century of the Life of Lafayette College. Vol. 1. Easton, PA: Lafayette College Press, 1932.

(1)Readers may obtain a select list of original references (available in most research libraries) that describe 16th to 17th century American food patterns. Send a self-addressed, stamped 9[inches] X 12[inches] envelope to: Dr. Helen Guthrie, 1316 S. Garner St., State College, PA 16801.

(2)Readers may obtain the complete list of breakfast menu items identified from north-central California in 1993. Send a self-addressed, stamped 9[inches] X 12[inches] envelope to: Dr. Helen Guthrie, 1316 S. Garner St., State College, PA 16801.

RELATED ARTICLE: Glossary: Selected Breakfast Foods Served in America

Almond butter: spread prepared from almond oil.

Angels on horseback: sliced oysters and bacon dusted with Cayenne pepper; broiled and garnished with lemon and parsley or cress.

Batter cakes: pancakes.

Bever: beverage snack period, early morning and midafternoon, during which beer and bread were served in precise portions.

Blackstrap molasses: syrup residue from refined sugar cane.

Bloody Mary: vodka and tomato juice.

Burrito: maize or wheat flour tortilla filled with cheese, meat and or seafood, and sauce.

Cannelons: fluted pastries.

Chamomile: herb tea prepared from Anthemis nobilis.

Chaurice: specialty Creole sausage.

Chili relleno: deep-fried bell pepper stuffed with meat and or vegetables.

Chorizo: specialty Spanish garlic sausage.

Commons: ample servings of food offered in communal bowls or on trays.

Eggs Benedict: poached eggs and ham on toasted English muffins, covered with hollandaise sauce and cream.

Fajita: soft tortilla wrapped around strips of chicken or meat fried in savory sauce.

Graham flower: unsifted, whole-wheat flour named after Sylvester Graham.

Granola: various combinations of cereals, nuts, and seeds.

Griddle cakes: pancakes.

Grits: corruption of the English word, groats, and synonymous with hominy.

Guacamole: sauce prepared from ripe avocados, mixed with crushed garlic, lemon juice, onion, and sometimes chili pepper and crushed tomato.

Hangtown Fry: specialty breakfast associated with the California gold rush town of Hangtown (modern Placerville, California): oysters dusted with flour, rolled in cracker crumbs, then fried in butter-egg batter and smothered in onions or fried green peppers.

Huevos rancheros: “ranch-style” eggs served with chili salsa.

Jalapeno: variety of chili pepper.

Kielbasa: specialty Polish sausage.

Linguica: specialty Portuguese sausage.

Lobster Newberg: lobster served with a sauce prepared from butter, sherry, cream, and egg yolks, seasoned with salt and paprika.

Pigs-in-a-blanket: pancake wrapped around pork-link sausage.

Piperade: specialty breakfast Basque dish; scrambled eggs cooked in olive oil or goose fat, with sliced onion, green peppers, chopped tomatoes, garlic, served with ham and croutons.

Scrapple: specialty Pennsylvania Dutch breakfast dish; cornmeal mixed with pork “trimmings,” cornmeal, onions, and herbs and sauteed in bacon drippings or butter.

Sizings: precise portions/quantities of beer and bread served during bever.

Turkey Canadian bacon: imitation bacon prepared using bacon-flavored sliced turkey.

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