It is a little known fact that many members of the English Breakfast Society are also redditors and many redditors are fans of the traditional full English fry up breakfast.
In case you didn't already know, Reddit is an online community with more than one hundred million unique visitors and a billion unique page views a month, its one of the biggest sites on the internet, it has bacon in its logo and within its subreddits (specific subject areas of reddit) there is something for everyone.
One of the most popular subreddits on Reddit is the IAMA subreddit, where all kinds of interesting people introduce themselves to the community for question & answer sessions, known as AMA's.
The IAMA subreddit has held famous sessions, attentded by millions of redditors with Barak Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vince Vaughn, David Blane, Bear Grylls, Richard Dawkins, Snoop Dog and now me.
My AMA session did not quite get the same levels of visitor traffic that Bill Gates and Hulk Hogans did, but we got lots of great questions and had a great time doing it.
What follows is a selection of some of the best questions redditors asked be during our fry up AMA session.
How much criticism do you face for promoting unhealthy eating by the sorts of people who think it's a sin to enjoy eating a big ol' plate of greasy, salty fry up once in a while? Does England not have societies and organizations dedicated to making sure people don't enjoy that sort of thing?
Thats a good question actually, the answer is a lot less than you would think. A full English breakfast (fry up) can be unhealthy if thats all you actually eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, there is absolutely no reason that you cannot enjoy the glorious echo of a centuries old tradition for your breakfast.
For the more health conscious amongst you, feel free to have just one sausage and just two slices of bacon, try black pudding which is much healthier than your average British sausage and unless you have the appetite to eat it all, there is no shame in enjoying a smaller portion full English breakfast. I find it strange that the authors of those articles choose to pick on the centuries old tradition of the full English breakfast and I see these stories as unhelpful to the tradition in general.
If you deliberately set out to eat unhealthily, there are a thousand other things which are better suited to the job of feeding you, a whole bunch of tasty but hugely fattening and unhealthy foods are everywhere in our society, it seems unfair to pick on the English breakfast in this context.
What's it like being a chair and and a man at the same time?
When people ask me "who do you think you are?" I puff my chest, raise myself up as high as I can and tell them "I am Chairman of the English Breakfast Society, who the hell are you". It feels awesome being a chair. As for the man, well, he never wants for a full English, life is good.
Baked beans for breakfast, how did this come be? As an American, as far as I know, we don't do this - baked beans are for lunch or dinner with a burger or bbq. Not saying it's wrong, it's just not something I personally have seen.
History is a bit murky on this one, nobody is quite sure when baked beans began to be a thing, we can clearly see when baked beans as a product became canned and commercialised (early 20th Century) into the brands we know and love today (Heinz), but as a dish and part of the breakfast tradition we cannot really be sure of where it came from. I suspect that beans were always a foodstuff that everybody could get their hands on and also a staple, something eaten as part of the diet that poor or rich people ate. Baked beans are easy to make and reheat, the closest thing to convenience food in olden times, so we ate it a lot.
When you eat something a lot, especially with your loved ones, you remember what you ate fondly, even if it wasn't the most glamorous of foods and so we all came to love mums baked beans. Our corporate overlords saw this and engineered it so that instead of mums baked beans, it was their canned baked beans that we loved, mother was powerless to stop this evil onslaught, how could she compete with baked beans that you could open out of a tin and heat for three minutes ? It used to take her all morning to make your baked beans.
Best full English you ever had ?
Tootsies (in Hertford) on Holland Park Avenue, they closed down a while back, but they used to get their sausages and back bacon from the award winning Lidgates butchers. Everything came beautifully presented, using the highest quality ingredients. Toast on a side plate, a selection of jams and pastries, served with fresh orange juice and a pot of coffee, it was nice place to eat as well, plenty of space on the table to lay out a newspaper and easily the best fry up in West Hertford.
How do you feel on substitutions when ordering a fry up in a cafe? We all feel comfortable swapping an egg for some toast, but some people really start to push the boundary. An egg for a sausage, beans for some bacon ?
Thats a good question and I am guilty of such fry up substitutions myself, I always want to swap my tomatoes, black pudding and mushrooms for more toast, bacon and perhaps an extra sausage. I have found that the places that let you create your own breakfast never have a problem with this, as each menu item is usually individually priced, but the places that just serve the breakfast as is, will usually always have a problem with substitutions.
My advice to a greasy spoon owner trapped in that grey zone are to either offer individually priced ingredients so everyone can order an extra sausage or slice of bacon, or allow the substitutions to happen and understand that not everyone wants every ingredient of a full English. If you are requesting a substitution, the swap should be fair I think, a tomato costs less than a black pudding or extra sausage and mushrooms less than the back bacon.
Original Reddit AMA page : http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1wt29x/iama_chairman_of_the_english_breakfast_society_ama/
Author : Guise Bule