On breakfast, the sexiest meal of the day

by Jess

I could eat breakfast all day. Give me oatmeal with milk and honey, pancakes with maple syrup, sausage and scrambled eggs with goat cheese, cherry scones with homemade whipped cream. Lots of coffee, black. One of my favorite breakfasts, though, is simply leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. Israeli couscous with dried fruit mixed with honey yogurt. Roasted acorn squash topped with butter and brown sugar. Shredded chicken and black beans low-simmered for hours in salsa, wrapped up in a tortilla with sour cream and avocado.

In this way, I buck the trend described by Seb Emina in this piece in The Guardian about breakfast, “the sexiest meal of the day,” as Anne Sexton called it in “Angels of the Love Affair.”

Breakfast is the most habitual meal of the day, a routine so key to inner wellbeing that Hunter S Thompson called it a ‘psychic anchor’, drawing, uncharacteristically, on an image of weighty predictability. If somebody is having toast with marmalade this morning (or, in the case of Thompson, ‘four bloody marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half pound of either sausage, bacon or corned-beef hash with diced chillis’ plus quite a few other things), it is a safe guess that they had it yesterday and that they will have it tomorrow as well.

I do agree, however, that a description of a character’s breakfast is designed by the author to tell us something about the character, just as every description of what the character does or says or wears or thinks should do. After reading Emina’s piece earlier, I couldn’t help but take special notice of the breakfast partaken by Diamantis in Jean-Claude Izzo’s The Lost Sailors, which I have just picked up today (nothing but three cups of black coffee). I love the agglomeration of breakfasts in this article. In fact, I’d love to see a whole cookbook of breakfasts from works of literature. Someone get on that.