Happy St. Patrick’s Day! If you are planning on a big celebratory day of pub crawling, or consuming any amount of green beer after the parade, the best of luck to you. Tomorrow a breakfast bowl of Lucky Charms just won’t cut it. You will need a full Irish breakfast to insure your full recovery.
During the week I tend to be a bowl of sticks and twigs kind of breakfast eater: bran flakes, raspberries and 2% milk. I worry about my fiber intake. Sundays I let loose, and bake biscuits, or make pancakes, with bacon or sausage. Sometimes I bake scones. Or make eggy French toast. I won’t say that I am abstemious, but I have had very few meals that have included three kinds of sausage and bacon. I thought the overwhelming English breakfasts I was served in modest B&Bs were absurdly huge, until I ran into the multifarious Full Irish breakfast.
Remember Gareth? Whose funeral we attended in Four Weddings and a Funeral? Remember the foreshadowing with his big English breakfast fry-up every morning: eggs, tomatoes, bacon, sausage, and fried bread, topped with a soupçon of cigarette ash? That was modest high cholesterol fare, the breakfast of a hermit howling in the wilderness, compared to the vast number of heart-stopping calories found in an Irish breakfast.
Here is what is required in a full, Irish breakfast:
Bacon or rashers
Black pudding (don’t ask – think of scrapple)
White pudding (ditto)
Soda bread/toast/fried bread
Real Irish butter
According to the Irish Post newspaper: “A full fry-up contains on average around 1,300 calories in one serving, which is almost three quarters of a woman’s daily recommended intake (2,000 calories) and over half of that suggested for men (2,500 calories).” Yikes. https://www.irishpost.com/life-style/the-ingredients-of-a-hearty-traditional-full-irish-breakfast-78903
The Irish Sun newspaper information is even more dire: “Three rashers weigh in at 213 calories, one slice of black pudding is 192 calories, while two sausages grilled add 324 calories. Toast, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans and hash brown will bring it up to over 1,500 calories.”
I’ve read that some calorie-wise folks will grill everything instead of frying it, and might even toast the bread instead of frying it. It sounds like a fool’s errand to me. Opinions about the Full Irish are strong. If you serve your beans in a ramekin, you look snobby and are acting self-important, even though some people don’t like having the beans touch their eggs. You must ask first. If you serve chips (French fries) instead of frying the potatoes in the chip pan you are rejecting tradition. It is morally wrong to serve eggs without runny yolks. Here are some tips for preparing your own Full Irish breakfast feast: https://www.irelandbeforeyoudie.com/the-perfect-traditional-irish-breakfast/
If you were an Irish farmer, facing a long day of grueling physical labor in the field, a Full Irish will adequately fuel your day. But if you are a puny twenty-first century home-office worker, it might be overkill. Especially if you consider that everything is bathed in sweet delicious Irish butter. It’s oatmeal for you. Maybe Weetabix. Think about your fiber intake. Think about Gareth. And just smell the bacon.
“When you make a wee wish
on a green four-leafed clover,
may your belly stay full
and your cup runneth over.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich