Standard Pages (they don't change often)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Conventionally breaking

Judging from the responses of Robb Walsh's blog posting about eating radishes with butter for breakfast, people have a hard time entertaining what is appropriate for breakfast. More than any other meal, breakfast seems to be shrouded in ritual; perhaps because, unlike other meals, this one is predicated on a biological happenstance: it's the first meal eaten after sleeping. I was once asked if Asian peoples ate rice at all meals - to which I replied in the affirmative.

"Even for breakfast?!!???"

was the response.

Of course, not that that is particularly odd even in American practice - what do you think Rice Krispies are made from? - but somehow, a lot of "mainstream" folk have very prescribed ideas of what breakfast food can and should be. Even interviews of Mark Bittman and his self imposed "vegan before 6" diet revealed that breakfast was the meal he struggled with the most, as the usual litany of milk, eggs, bread, cured meats and cereal seems to dominate the psyche. Truth be told, of course, one can eat anything for breakfast. Cold pizza is a standby, but pho is wonderfully bracing as a wakeup, as is the tang and shock of tenzaru soba dipped in wasabi broth. You can get your eggs and milk in the form of ice cream; throw in bacon, and it's a meal.

But yes, fried rice is devised as a way of using up leftover rice; and is frequently the object of breakfasts. That and congee.

And speaking of rice, celebrate the Lunar New Year with the glutinous rice cakes:

Japanese -> mochi
Chinese -> nien gao
Vietnamese -> banh chung
Korean -> tteok
Filipino -> tikoy

Peace and prosperity be unto you.

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