Do immigrants in the UK ever eat a full English breakfast? Are they less inclined to do so now because of Brexit?

Well first and foremost, immigrants to the UK are not all alike, so this isn’t going to be a yes or no answer. But you knew that when you asked the question.

I can only speak for the immigrants I know. Firstly my parents, who came off the boat in the late 50s. They were very big fans of the full English, although they saw it as an inferior version of their own traditional breakfast.

Why stop at black pudding when you could have white pudding too! But making soda bread wasn’t practical for a mother of two holding down multiple jobs at once. So I was deprived of the traditional food of my ancestors, the full Irish.

Growing up my mum must have imagined that I was never fed at school because for my entire school life she fed me a bowl of porridge and a full English with a fired slice every day. I think that’s the reason I grew up to be 11-inches taller than her, although I’m slightly wider too.

Even though she’s in her 80s now, I can barely make it through a visit without her forcing a bacon sandwich on me.

Aside from my immigrant parents, I also have an immigrant wife. Honestly, my family is thick with immigrants, one of my mums immigrant sisters even moved here with a Spanish husband. It’s outrageous. Her other sister did go native though, and married a man from Essex. Her brother didn’t just immigrate to London, he wasn’t satisfied until he emigrated again, this time to Australia.

But I digress. Coming from the colonies, I had expected my wife to immigrate with some pancakes and grits or something. But she took to the full English like a raccoon to a picnic. You see, as much as they bang on about bacon in the USA, the vast majority of them haven’t even seen real bacon because they don’t have passports.

Many foolishly think they understand when they hear us describe bacon to them, deciding it’s “Canadian Bacon”. Which is a bit more like gammon than the super-streaky nonsense Americans microwave before putting on a burger. But nothing like traditional English…er…Danish bacon. Wait, more bloody immigrants! Anyway, I prefer we keep our secret from that lot. If they only knew, they would eat the worlds supply in no time.

I have witnessed a German attempt to create an English breakfast. It was a passable attempt, but often they are too health conscious to really revel in it. No sign of a fried slice, and they seem terrified of toasting bread any darker than light beige. Sure burnt toast is full of carcinogens, but who wants to live a longer life at the cost of a really good breakfast.

I did have an anglophile French friend that could almost certainly have done a better job. But most other French people I’ve known have preferred the espresso and cigarette start to the day. That’s probably not still the case, but it used to be.

Italians I suspect wouldn’t touch a full English with a gondola pole, as they are too busy laughing at us for ordering Cappuccino after 11:00 am or feeling physically sick at the though of sweetcorn and pineapple on pizza.

Immigrants of some religious backgrounds must forgo the delights of a full English because it’s not kosher of something. So I doubt they have strong feeling about it.

Anyway, I can confirm that many immigrants eat a full English, despite it being inferior fare compared Jonny foreigners epic full Irish. But I’m sure many immigrants are forced to lower their standards in foreign lands.

Also, many avoid the full English, for reasons of religion, health or good old fashioned disgust. What can I say, not everybody aspires to my less-than-athletic figure. I don’t blame them in the least.

Now to the final part of your question, Brexit, and it’s impact on foreign nationals consumption of bacon, eggs, sausage and more. I don’t have really good peer reviewed datas on that aspect of your enquiry. But I’ll go out on a limb and say nobody who might ever have eaten a full English would ever forgo that delight just because of Brexit. Why on earth would they?

I suspect that the whole movement to leave the EU was to stop the cultural-appropriation that we have suffered over the years. Champagne was invented in London, as was Guinness, Scotch eggs and Cornish pasties. A line had to be drawn.

8 Replies to “Do immigrants in the UK ever eat a full English breakfast? Are they less inclined to do so now because of Brexit?”

  1. When I was driving for a living, I took a young Brazilian lady with me on a day’s work. Yes, she liked me enough to spend a day tooling around East Anglia in a 16-ton Merc Axor. But she sat in the cab whilst I unloaded the carpets.

    So, naturally, we stopped at a truck-stop in Cambridgeshire for breakfast. Despite her initial consternation, she soon declared the lavish, and cheap, fry-up the best breakfast she’d ever had.

    And our unusual date must’ve been good; she’s now my wife.

  2. Strange question. Its like saying do immigrants in the US eat burgers and fries.

    Anyway – it may surprise you to know that not many ‘indigenous’ Brits regularly eat a full English – why? Most of us have to get to work and there isn't time to cook it and eat it and do the extensive washing-up, then face the ‘up to an hour’ commute (or longer in some cases). Also we don’t always want to put on a massive amount of weight. Also – we have to budget as our country is so expensive to live in and a full English regularly or daily is expensive.

    Many Brits skip breakfast altogether, but most will have a very light quick breakfast.

    For me, its only when I stay in a hotel that I have a full English, or as a very rare treat at home and it usually is taken mid-morning at a weekend as a brunch.

    Life isn't really like Downton Abbey.

  3. After Brexit French bread, French beans, French kisses and French letters will all be illegal, and will be smuggled in like lace and rum in the olden days.

    I believe there is also legislation to make REALLY stupid questions illegal.

  4. A full English breakfast is a bit much (calorywise) for natives and immigrants (like me) alike on most days.

    Having said this, on a special day or when staying at a B&B (when the landlady will do the cooking) or on the morning of a long day out it is absolutely great and I am so glad that it has been invented and continues to be a tradition.

    I am also positive, that bacon, eggs etc is one of the things foreign tourists particularly look forward to when visiting the British Isles. Why would anybody give that up, just because of politics?

  5. Why is meal an indicator of anything? Most non-immigrant British people don’t even eat their regional variation on a “full breakfast” on a regular basis.

  6. If I were an immigrant, I know I would be thinking “what's the point of eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, and beans? We're only going to be leaving the European Union by March 2019. Seriously! What's the point? And don’t even get me started on tomatoes, toast, and black pudding!”

  7. Fried eggs, sausages, bacon, toast, tomatos and mushrooms did not vote for Brexit.

    There is no reason to be annoyed at them, or worse, stop eating them.

    While I don't eat it every day, it's a pleasant breakfast for every now and then.

  8. Dumb question! Immigrants can be from all world – so have different dietary traditions! But (in any case) it will depend upon how hungry they are, and if they do hard, physical work!

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