Lonely Planet’s latest food guide covers breakfast and brunch favorites around the globe—what they are, where to find them and even how to make them.
What better way to impress your group of travelers than kick-starting the day with a knockout breakfast or mid-morning meal, especially one with classic dishes unique to the country you’re touring.
Group planners will find all kinds of tasty, itinerary-enhancing ideas in the latest culinary compendium from guidebook publisher Lonely Planet—The World’s Best Brunches. It’s really a series of two-page reports on indigenous dishes (arranged alphabetically) from regions and countries around the world; though common morning fare, they’re eaten at any time—just like a good American diner serves breakfast all day.
One page describes the dish, its origin, what’s special about it and a restaurant that serves it up best. Opposite is a step-by-step recipe, cookbook-style. Color photos add zing. This is not a book about hotels and restaurants with brunch buffets.
In addition to exotic dishes like Jamaica’s ackee and saltfish, readers will find pages devoted to all-American brunch favorites like buttermilk pancakes, French toast, eggs Benedict and the breakfast burrito from New Mexico. As for “Biscuits with Gravy,” the writer says, “Like the culinary verison of your favorite teddy bear and blankie, a big ol’ helpin’ of flaky biscuits and decadently rich gravy is America’s breakfast comfort food.” A place to savor it: Pine State Biscuits in Portland, Oregon, which “combines North Carolinian recipes with local ingredients to achieve superlative biscuitry.”
A trip to Spain is not complete without churros y chocolate, and the place to go in Madrid is the famous Chocolateria San Gines. Dunking piping-hot churros—light, crispy, deep-fried sticks of dough—into thick hot chocolate is one of Spain’s classic culinary indulgences, standard fare at fiestas and an essential component of a traditional Spanish breakfast.
In Israel and North Africa, the dish to try is shakshouka—a concoction of eggs baked in a thick sauce of peppers, tomatoes and spices, often served right in the skillet. Warming the tummy in Ireland, colcannon is a satisfying combination of bacon, potatoes and cabbage laced with butter and cream. England’s gustatory treasure is the full English breakfast, a hearty combination of fried eggs, sausages, bacon, tomato, mushrooms, beans, black pudding, toast and tea. Or how about pao de queijo (cheese bread)—“a marriage of cheese and tapioca starch served fresh from the oven—the Brazilian breakfast of champions.”
The World’s Best Brunches also highlights quiche from France; goetta, an oat-stuffed sausage found only in Cincinnati; and Singapore kaya toast, a crisp warm bread slathered with coconut jam and butter.
A separate “Drinks and Condiments” section covers a potpourri of delights, from smoothies, hibiscus ginger punch and the classic bloody Mary to hummus, Seville (orange) marmalade and hagelslag, chocolate sprinkles the Dutch liberally spoon onto buttered bread and toast.
The World’s Best Brunches (Lonely Planet, $19.99, 224 pages) is written by food writers from around the globe. It includes a glossary of exotic ingredients with suggestions for easy-to-find alternatives.
Other mouthwatering titles in the series: The World’s Best Street Food and The World’s Best Spicy Food.