The Not-So Starving Student—Six Breakfasts from Around the World

Breakfast is one of the most important meals in a day.  Eating an adequate portion early in the day can provide lasting energy to tackle the rest of the day.  For AU students, this means more effective studying sessions and a fruitful day spent juggling between academics, personal, and professional lives.  Hence, shortly after waking up, I attempt to gobble down a bowl of ordinary oatmeal, sometimes topped with fruits—depending on the time and my wake-up mood.

Unfortunately, a lot of the time our breakfasts are far from inspiring because of time-constraints.  While consuming my gruesome, mundane breakfast, I remembered back to my childhood where I was able to purchase breakfast off the side of the street in Shanghai.  Often these were the most delicious and authentic breakfasts I had ever tried.  I embraced the nostalgia and pondered what breakfast was like in countries I haven’t yet visited.  Certain ethnic breakfasts I have tried in the past offered unparalleled experiences that AU students would find appealing.  Here are six breakfasts worth sampling.

Sirniki (Ukraine)

Besides the Ukrainians, the Russians, Belarusians, Latvians, Lithuanians, and Serbians all adore this fried quark pancake.  Quark pancakes are unique in that they are created with warmed sour milk.  The pancake can be topped with anything and everything from sour cream to honey.

Empanadas (Mexican)

When I first tried these for brunch, I thought I was biting into a gourmet pizza pop.  While appearing like your average pizza pop, however, these are healthy, delicious, and perfect for breakfast on the go.

Breakfast crepe (Chinese)

One of my all-time favorite breakfasts found in local street vendors in most Chinese cities, this type of breakfast burrito is healthy, mouth-wateringly delicious, and keeps you coming back for more.  On my last trip to Shanghai, I would wake up every morning looking forward to this authentic ethnic Chinese breakfast with a cup of soy milk.  The wraps are made from a light, crunchy pancake and used to enclose the eggs, scallions, an optional crunchy pastry and sweet bean paste.

Arepa (Colombian)

The arepa is a local favorite.  In most Columbian homes, you would find arepa an integral part of the breakfast routine.  This hearty cornbread pancake can be topped with eggs, tomato, and avocado for a balanced breakfast.  If cooked properly, there should be a light crisp to the pancake that children fall in love with.

Dosa Tray (Indian)

Dosa is a type of pancake made from fermented batter and looks similar to a thin, flaky crepe, except made primarily with rice.  If you were to order a traditional breakfast from a street vendor in Southern India, you would receive a tray with dosa, some sides with stuffed potato, various chutneys and sambar (a vegetable-based stew).

Menemen (Turkish)

One of my personal travel goals is Istanbul, a city known for its fascinating history and food culture.  Menemen is a traditional Turkish breakfast with eggs.  After scrambling the eggs, the locals add green peppers, tomatoes, spices, and oregano.  Charcuterie products can also be added as a bonus.  Usually the dish is served with bread and makes a delicious, colorful breakfast.

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