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Culinary World Tour: Breakfast In Different Countries


Whether you’re fighting the inevitable afternoon energy crash or burning the midnight oil preparing for a work presentation, in the U.S., ordering a giant cup of coffee on the go is acceptable and possible at all hours, day and night. Not so in European countries like Italy, where sipping a latte is a morning-only, sit-down affair. Whether it’s a cup of coffee or a full meal, Americans might try replicating Europeans’ tendency to sit and savor rather than dining while dashing, since paying attention to what you’re eating can prevent overeating and promote satiation.That mindfulness is a good way to start the day.


Hot South Indian weather doesn’t deter residents from whipping up steamy morning meals. One common choice is vegetable upma, a hot grain dish made with vegetables like onions, carrots and green beans, and spiced with ginger, curry, mustard seeds and cumin. Simple and comforting, this warm morning meal provides plenty of iron, calcium and fiber. Incorporating more protein and vegetables at breakfast can help us better meet our nutritional needs as well as provide more satiety.


Who says salads are just for lunch? Not Israelis, who often wake up to a fresh, green meal. Israeli breakfasts are healthy affairs which include vegetable salads with tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and olive oil paired with a type of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese. If crunching raw veggies first thing in the morning doesn't suit your fancy, try sauteing them and adding them to scrambled eggs.


American kids grow up with peanut butter; Australian tykes are more familiar with Vegemite – a salty spread made from yeast extract. The breakfast staple is high in B vitamins which help your body stay energized throughout the day, but it’s not as high in protein as peanut butter. Australians may also turn to egg dishes like omelets in the morning, but the fillings there and in other countries tend to trump those in the U.S. when it comes to freshness. The omelet is going to be different at IHOP than in Europe, where the vegetables are bought at the market. Other parts of the world, there’s more of an emphasis on where the food comes from.


You may associate Colombia with coffee. But the South American country puts the mojo in mornings with more than its famed beverage. Calentado, which translates to "heated," for one, consists of (typically reheated) lentils or beans and rice that are topped with an egg. This is a balanced meal with some carbs, protein, healthy fat and fiber, as well as lots of vitamins and minerals. Americans consider adding beans or lentils to their morning meals, perhaps by pairing them with eggs or mixing them with spinach, tomatoes and spices.


Typical breakfast in Japan includes miso soup, hot rice with a raw egg, a green salad and sometimes a small piece of leftover grilled fish. Most Americans would consider this an odd combination for a meal, let alone a morning meal. But the breakfast is low in fat, high in protein, and the soup alone is packed with vitamins, healthy bacteria and antioxidants.

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