Today’s podcast is about breakfast. Probably most people think of “breakfast” as the meal you eat at the beginning of the day, when you first wake up. However, it is morecomplicated than that.
First, let’s look at what the word “breakfast” really means. As you probably know, the word “fast” has several, completely different meanings in English. One of the meanings of “fast” is a period when you do not have any food to eat. So, for example, Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan – they do not eat anything between sunrise andsunset. A “breakfast” is, literally, a meal which you eat at the end of a period of fasting. When you eat breakfast, you break – or end – your fast.
When I get up in the morning, I have not had anything to eat since about 7 o’clock the night before. Now that is not a very long fast – perhaps 12 hours, but not more. However, the meal which we eat first thing in the morning breaks our overnight fast, so we call it “breakfast”.
What do you eat for breakfast? I have a bowl of muesli with milk, two pieces of toast with marmalade, and two cups of coffee. Some people go for a run first thing in the morning, and then have a breakfast of fruit and orange juice. They are slim and fit and healthy and they make me feel guilty so I do not like them. Other people have no breakfast at all – they do not eat until the middle of the day. Nutritionists tell us that it is not a good idea to go without breakfast, because your concentration is poor if you have not had anything to eat. Other people eat huge breakfasts, with fried eggs and bacon, sausages, mushrooms and fried bread. In hotels and restaurants, a big cooked breakfast is called an “English breakfast”. Actually, very few English people eat a cooked breakfast every day. We do not have time. We are in a hurry to catch the bus or the train and get to work.
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