An Ulster Fry-up, an Irish Fry-up, or
a Full English Cornish, Scottish, Welsh or Full Irish Breakfast
Regional variants of a Full Breakfast: a Full English
breakfast, a Full Cornish breakfast, a Full Scottish breakfast, a Full Welsh
breakfast, an Ulster fry-up or a Full Irish breakfast.
A full breakfast is a substantial
breakfast meal, usually consisting of bacon, sausages and eggs, often served
with a variety of side dishes and a beverage such as coffee or tea. It is
especially popular in the UK and Ireland and in British-influenced cultures
including the Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
It is sometimes referred to as an English breakfast or a full English
breakfast. When staying at a Bread & Breakfast hotel in the U.K. you can
depend on getting variations of a Full Breakfast.
The phrase "full breakfast" is used to differentiate it from
the European continental breakfast traditionally consisting of tea, milk or
coffee and fruit juices with croissants or pastries. The meal is regarded as a
staple of traditional English cuisine; W. Somerset Maugham stated, "To eat well
in England you should have breakfast three times a day. Many British
cafés and pubs serve the meal at any time as an "all-day breakfast".
Other common names for the dish include bacon and eggs, or the fry-up. Variants
include the full English, full Scottish, full Welsh and full Irish breakfasts
and the Ulster fry.
A variant of the full breakfast, the 'breakfast roll' or
'bacon roll' consisting of elements of the full breakfast served in a
French roll or wrap has become more popular in recent times due to the
fact it can be easily eaten on the way to work as a hand held breakfast. The
breakfast roll is available from many petrol stations and convenience stores
throughout the UK and Ireland in the morning hours.
Common foods and dishes
A full English breakfast with scrambled eggs, sausage, black
pudding, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, hash browns, and half a tomato.
The ingredients of a full breakfast vary according to region
and taste. They are often served with condiments such as brown sauce or
Some of the foods that may be included in a full breakfast
fried, poached, scrambled or in a basket
or grilled bacon, also referred to as "rashers" or "slices"
sausages or sausage patties
kidneys, grilled or fried
potato, either sautéed or served as
chips, potato waffles, potato bread, potato cake, or hash browns
usually toasted or fried, (black-top or batch bread-Scotland)
pancakes (Irish pancakes
grilled, or tinned tomatoes
oatcakes (in Scotland)
pudding (in Scotland)
(or 'tattie') scones (in Scotland and Ireland)
sausage, also known as Lorne or square sausage (in Scotland)
laverbread (in Wales)
cockles & mussels (in Wales)
pudding (in Cornwall and Devon)
Full English breakfast:
A traditional full English breakfast includes bacon
(traditionally back bacon, poached or fried eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes,
fried mushrooms, fried bread or toast with butter, sausages and baked beans,
usually served with a mug of tea. As nearly everything is fried in this meal,
it is commonly called a "fry-up". In Britain it is common to serve the toast on
a toast rack with butter on the side as opposed to many Canadian restaurants
serve the toast already buttered.
Black pudding is added in some regions, as are fried
leftover mashed potatoes (called potato cakes) or hash browns. Originally a way
to use up leftover vegetables from the main meal of the day before, bubble and
squeak, shallow-fried leftover vegetables with potato, has become a breakfast
feature in its own right. Onions either fried or in rings, occasionally appear.
In the North Midlands, fried or grilled oatcakes sometimes replace fried bread.
When an English breakfast is ordered to contain everything available it is
often referred to as a Full English, or a Full Monty.
Full Cornish breakfast:
The traditional Cornish breakfast includes hog's pudding and
Cornish potato cakes (made with mashed potatoes mixed with flour and butter and
then fried), or fried potatoes alongside the usual bacon, sausage, tomato,
mushrooms, egg and toast. In the past traditional Cornish breakfasts have
included pilchards and herring, or gurty pudding, a Cornish dish similar to
haggis, not to be confused with gurty milk, another Cornish breakfast dish made
with bread and milk.
Full Scottish breakfast:
In Scotland, the full
breakfast, as with others, contains eggs, back bacon, link sausage, buttered
toast, baked beans, and tea or coffee. Distinctively Scottish elements include
Scottish style black pudding, sliced sausage, and tattie scones. It commonly
also includes fried or grilled tomato and/or mushrooms and occasionally haggis,
white pudding, fruit pudding or oatcakes. As with other breakfasts it has
become more common, especially within the home, to grill the meats, puddings
and tomatoes and to only fry the eggs and tattie scones. Another more
historical Scottish breakfast is porridge and may occasionally be served as a
starter. It is not uncommon to have kippers or haddock with your morning
Full Welsh breakfast:
The traditional Welsh breakfast includes laver bread, a
seaweed purée which is mixed with eggs, bacon, and cockles and fried
into crisp patties.
A full Ulster fry
served in Belfast, Northern Ireland
An Ulster fry is a dish similar to the Irish breakfast and
is popular throughout Ulster. Traditionally, it comprises bacon rashers, eggs,
sausages (either pork or beef), vegetable roll, the farl form of soda bread
(the farl is split in half crossways to expose the inner bread and then fried
with the exposed side down), boxty or potato bread and wheaten farl.
Other common components that may be added include mushrooms,
fried tomato, pancake and/or beans. All this is traditionally fried; however,
in recent decades, people have taken to grilling the ingredients instead. Irish
pancakes are different than what is served as an Irish pancake as it is thin
and rolled similar to a Crêpe.
The Ulster fry is often served for breakfast, lunch or
dinner in households and cafés around the province. Emigrants have also
popularised the serving of an Ulster fry outside Ulster.
Like most full breakfasts the usual accompaniment is strong
tea, typically a blend with a high proportion of Assam leaves, e.g. Nambarrie,
Lyon's, Barry's, Bewleys or Punjana served with milk.
Between 2001 and 2007, the television channel BBC Two
Northern Ireland used a station ID during local opt-outs from national UK
programming which featured the BBC Two logo eating an Ulster fry.
Full Irish breakfast:
An Irish breakfast
consisting of sausage, black and white pudding, bacon and fried eggs.
In Ireland, as elsewhere, the exact constituents of a full
breakfast vary, depending on geographical area, personal taste and cultural
affiliation. Traditionally, the most common ingredients are bacon rashers,
sausages, fried eggs, white pudding, black pudding, toast and fried tomato.
Sauteed mushrooms are also sometimes included, as well as baked beans, liver
(although popularity has declined in recent years), and brown soda bread. A
full Irish breakfast may be accompanied by a strong Irish breakfast tea (such
as Barry's Tea, Lyons Tea or Bewley's breakfast blend) often served with milk.
Fried potato farl, boxty or toast is often served as an alternative to brown
soda bread. "Boxty is a traditional Irish dish made of potatoes. An old Irish
rhyme goes: 'Boxty on the griddle, boxty on the pan; if you can't make boxty,
you'll never get a man'." Boxty is comprised of half mashed potatoes and half
raw grated potatoes fried thinly on a grill.
Bacon or Sausage
When in a rush and a favourite with Onslow on
the T.V. series Keeping up Appearances was a bacon butty. It
consists of crisp bacon between two sides of a toasted bun. In most cases the
bun is toasted in the frying pan where the bacon was fried to give it the extra
bacon flavour. Still a favourite by many.