A good friend of mine has been on holiday in Cornwall and he has very kindly been sending me foodie postcards, including this one, illustrating the traditional English breakfast:
On the back he writes, “For breakfast this morning I had cranberry juice. Mixed berries, yoghurt, porridge, 3 rashers bacon, 2 poached eggs, mushrooms, 2 croissants, honey and coffee.” He then adds (without irony as far as I can tell) “a reasonably healthy balance I thought.”
I don’t know the full details of his holiday arrangement but I’m going to bet it was an all-you-can-eat buffet, included in the price of accommodation, and therefore, as it were, “free” - in which case you’d be a fool not to eat as much of it as you possibly can.
I was reminded of goldfish, who supposedly eat themselves to death given a chance. I’ve never been sure whether this was an urban myth. Eating yourself to death whenever the opportunity arises would seem to be a major evolutionary disadvantage, and yet goldfish continue to thrive. Equally I think you might argue that this is an evolutionary disadvantage that humanity also suffers from.
Given that the “Full English” is regarded as an unassailable highpoint in English cuisine there’s never been much ambition to change it. Instead there’s been an ambition to serve more and more of it. There’s a café in Great Yarmouth called Jesters Diner (no apostrophe) that serves something that looks like this, a breakfast buffet in itself:
My friend in Cornwall also sent me this recipe card showing how to make a Cornish pasty:
I suspect that even in Cornwall there aren’t many people making their own pasties these days, but it’s still good to have a recipe. The (less than) secret ingredient is lard.