Just back from a splendid trip ‘oop north, to the Lake District in the north west and then to the North York Moors in the north east.
We stayed at two excellent B&Bs, both providing breakfasts to set us up for long, hard days exploring the Cumbrian fells and the Yorkshire moors in our faithful old walking boots.
I love a full English but even I was wilting after 9 consecutive days of fried breakfasts.
A few observations:
- the skinny Cumberland sausage is a bit of a wimp, and not a proper man-sized banger like they serve up in Yorkshire
- you just can’t beat a simple fried egg. Poached, scrambled, boiled – even en cocotte – have their place, but a full English breakfast without a fried egg is like an orchestra without a violin
- baked beans are the oil that lubricates the engine: without them, the other staple ingredients are a tad too dry. Nice, obviously, but a bit hard-going. The egg yolk does its bit to reduce the density of the sausage and bacon, but for real symbiotic liquidity, it has to be beans
- bacon should be local and treated with care. If it’s over-cooked, it detracts from the overall dish rather than adds to it. But a couple of rashers belong on the plate, as essential to the orchestra as the fried egg
- mushrooms can be a lovely addition, especially if chopped to the right size and shape to fit with the rest of the ingredients. And they must be fresh, cooked in just a little butter and definitely still al dente, rather than limp
- tomatoes can cause arguments. I’m talking about small, fresh ones obviously. Never, ever open a tin and plonk those on the plate next to the other sacred ingredients. Some people like a few small halved fresh tomatoes, grilled and with some herbs sprinkled on their shiny skins. I don’t
- hash browns. These are American potato concoctions and should NEVER find their way onto a plate with a full English breakfast
Loosen your belt a notch or two by the third day.
And marvel that there really is a place called Great Fryup on the North York Moors. And little Fryup Dale for the small eaters.