There are lots of breakfast food differences from country to country. I have only experienced a few of them. In France there is the croissant and coffee – caffeine and carbs – that’ll get you going. In Greece, I had omelets drowning in olive oil. In England I tasted tough old bacon and eggs with toast. (Scarcely edible.) Italy I had hotel food. In the Netherlands, well that’s an interesting bit of information, I was astonished. The children drink tea and eat a slice of bread with butter and chocolate Hagelslag (Hail) or Muisjes, (Little Mice) which look more like cake decorations than anything that I recognize as breakfast food. This is a sample of the products that children like to eat. (Think multicolored cereals for kids.) It is made from milk products and soy.
This is one of the “typical” breakfast foods that I saw people eat. (Really?) That and slices of cheese on buttered bread or adults eat that on a heavy type of rye bread, there was no cereal to be seen. (Okay, my experience was limited.) Food is culture. There were no eggs, no toast, no cereal. Eating cheese on bread for breakfast with butter, please no. Oh, and where’s the OJ? It was all I could do to swallow it. I longed for oatmeal, granola, fruit or anything I could recognize. Try as I might cheese for breakfast was too much for my American stomach unless it was melted in an omelet.
On the first day of class in the Netherlands, when I went to school to learn Dutch I met a woman from Sweden. She had met her husband-to-be in Sweden one evening out with her friends. He was from “Holland”. She took one look at him and knew that he was the one! Such is love. Vive-Anne and I became fast friends from that first day. We talked and went to her car that she wanted to show me, which was a classic Volvo from the 1960’s. Her pride was obvious and yes I was enthusiastic as I appreciate classic cars.
Vivi-Anne is an extraordinary person and among her many talents is that she is an ace cook and baker. I learned many things about food from her.
But this story is about cultural differences in breakfast and the point is about eating oatmeal and breakfast, in general. Vivi-Anne did marry and had a girl and a boy. As in the US kids are taken frequently to a child specialist to chart their development in the first years. When it came time to start giving her daughter breakfast food Vivi-Anne gave her daughter oatmeal. (Seemed fine to me.) When the specialist asked her what breakfast cereal she was giving to her child. She told him oatmeal. He began to insist that her child eat cream of wheat. Vivi-Anne would have none of it. I always liked Vivi-Anne’s answer. “My mother gave me oatmeal and that’s what I am going to give my daughter.”
Vivi-Anne is a woman who knows her own mind. Her daughter is tall, strong and confident like her mother.
Anyhow, what ever your preference is for breakfast having it is important for your body and mind. Just a cup of coffee – that’ll never give you the vitamins and stuff you need to stay healthy or happy all day. Maybe I am old nag, but especially for woman in the US most have or will have osteoporosis and that is completely avoidable with good nutrition and excercise. When my doctor told me that my good bones are rare in woman, it shocked me. Eating a basic breakfast of oatmeal, granola or some cereal with milk is a good beginning.
Here’s a recipe from MrBreakfast.com Retrieved August 25, 2010.
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
(This recipe yields 1 serving)
1 cup water
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tart apple – diced
2/3 cup rolled oats
1 dash cinnamon
1 cup skim milk
Place water, juice and apples in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Stir in the rolled oats and cinnamon. Return to boil, reduce heat and simmer until the porridge is thick. Serve hot with milk.
Eat healthy. You won’t regret it.