Tuesday, November 25, 2008

French Breakfast

I'm in love with breakfasts from around the world. When I found my passion for the anglo-saxon culture when I was 10, I was always curious to know how the British started their morning. I specifically remember the day our English teacher told us about it: cornflakes, grapefruit, toast and marmalade was apparently the classic British breakfast! I will always remember my first Sunday breakfast when I was staying with a host family in Ipswich: fried egg, sausage, blood pudding, tomato, mushroom, beans and toast. It was a bit much but I've always been very open minded with food, so I happily devoured it (though the food coma that follows is never fun. I would not recommend it for every day). 

I love a pretty table set for breakfast. Simple white china and lots of colors in my food. I'm not always able to do this every day during the week, but when I do, it always puts me in a good mood to start the day with a note of elegance. 

Growing up in France,  I would always start my breakfast or petit-dejeuner by squeezing the juice of an orange. For years and years, I ate bread (usually from a baguette) or biscotte (it's close to a Melba Toast if you like) with butter and jam along with a bowl of chicory coffee - my absolute favorite breakfast drink. Now I add plain yogurt to the menu and often replace the chicory coffee with a cup of Earl Grey. 

In France today, most people still have a hot drink: coffee, tea or hot chocolate - a popular one among children. With the Anglo-Saxon influence, cereal has known a huge success, even though bread definitely still is at the center of the table along with butter and jam. Brioche is another item that commonly comes to mind when you think about breakfast in France. It's a rich and lightly sweet bread that we eat plain or along with jam. 

So what about croissants you ask? They are most definitely the ultimate petit-dejeuner food, along with the runner-up, pain au chocolat. But because they are so high in fat, most people choose to keep them as an occasional weekend guilty pleasure. It's always a treat in France to surprise the person you live with, by going to the boulangerie to buy freshly baked and warm croissants and pains au chocolat for breakfast. 

Saturday was one of these days, where I wished I was back home, to be able to do just that. Even if I can't find croissants as good as I would in France (or maybe I'm not going to the right places in Austin), I like to recreate a French breakfast once in a while.  I just hop in the car when I wake up and go buy a fresh baguette and a couple of croissants. I usually always have some good quality butter in the fridge (I like President, an imported brand from France) and Bonne Maman fruit preserves, which I find everywhere now in the US. I try to bring back my favorite chicory coffee brand back from France but otherwise I use Cafe Du Monde in the US, which I serve with milk only (and sugar of course). 

Needless to say, Saturday's breakfast hit the right spot. But I'm always curious to learn more about other breakfasts. So this is an open call to all you readers from around the world! Tell me what you eat for your petit-dejeuner, and feed my curiosity. 


Lucie said...

Agree! There's nothing better to start the day than a good breakfast. President and Bonne Maman... Bought a couple of jars too, but now I am making my own jam and bread, even better and so easy ;-)But still missing French baguette and delicious pains au chocolat... Nostalgie...

Anonymous said...

My favorite breakfast is Turkish: baguette or "pide" with Turkish white cheese (similar to creamy feta), black olives, cucumber, and tomatoes that taste like real tomoatoes. Along with that fresh yoghurt with honey and melon slices. Eat outside on the patio, balcony, under an arbor... but definitely outside.

Laetitia said...

I completely agree breakfast outside is the best!!! Honestly, that sounds absolutely delicious. When can we meet? ;)

Jennifer said...

Being an Austin girl, I love me some migas for Sunday morning breakfast.

For croissants in Austin, there used to be a shop in Oak Hill off 290 called Croissant Time - I believe it's run by a French couple. If it's still there, I'd recommend trying it. I always enjoyed their pain au chocolat.

(Found your blog through the Statesman - it's very interesting!)

Laetitia said...

You know Jennifer, I heard about Croissant Time and cannot wait to try it. Your comment makes me want to go even more now! I am craving a good croissant and pain au chocolat!! So happy you found my blog! I hope you will come back often!

Sinda said...

What are favorite bakeries in Austin? I'd love to hear where you find the best baguettes and croissants!

I came here from Jodi's blog, Foodtouring.

Laetitia said...


I think my favorite baguette here in Austin comes from Mandola's. As far as croissants, I have to be honest, I've had a hard time finding really good ones like we find in France. The ones at Croissant Time were not too bad. I still have to go sample the ones at 1886 bakery (Driskill). I will let you know!!

Messygirl said...

Hi Im a mexican girl, here in mexico when we have the time we have the tendency to have a big heavy breakfast, for example lets say its sunday morning and you are reunited with all your family (10 people or so uncles, cousind , grandma, grand pa etc) you will usually have on the table:
-scrambled eggs with tomato, onion and chile.
-refried beans with some fresh cheese.
-chilaquiles (fried tortillas with green or red salsa, covered with fresh cream, cheese, and diced onion.
- chicharron en salsa (fried pork skin smotered in salsa )
-coffee with milk.
-some kind of sweet bread.
-diced fruits.
-orange juice.

its a lot, this is just a very tipical example or a breakfast party, but i mena if u go to a restaurante here ou can eat one of this items, among many other stuff depending on what part of mexico you are.

lesley said...

i spread avocado on my toast, with a little salt and pepper and an over-easy egg. and good, strong coffee. yum.

Laetitia said...

Lesley, I LOVE avocado and salt on a toast as well. It's like butter!! Smoked salmon with that is per-fect :)