The word brunch first appeared in print in an 1895 Hunter’s Weekly article. In Brunch: A Plea, British author Guy Beringer described brunch as “cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”
Beringer was also remarkable visionary, envisioning that the meal could also be accompanied by alcoholic beverages, thus paving the way for the tradition brunch drinks like the Bloody Mary or mimosa.
It is also the perfect indulgence on a rainy Sunday…
As is the case with many culinary traditions, the origins of brunch are a bit hazy. Some food historians think that the meal has its roots in England’s hunt breakfasts —lavish multi-course meals that featured a smorgasbord of goodies such as chicken livers, eggs, meats, bacon, fresh fruit and sweets. Others posit that Sunday brunch derives from the practice of Catholics fasting before mass and then sitting down for a large midday meal. And then there are those who look to New York’s abundance of dining spots when it comes to tracing the origins of classic brunch dishes from eggs Benedict to bagels and lox.
Some chefs, however, are not fans of brunch. After a busy Saturday night, trying to create a menu for a meal that stretches from 11am until 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and finding the right balance between breakfast foods, lunch foods and exotic hybrids of the two is no small task. And then there’s the issue of dealing with fussy bears 🙂
Today little bears are happily brunching on bear claws! And chocolate and blood plum croissants…
It turns out breakfast is also a contentious meal.