Cultures all over the world wake up every morning with very unique cravings for what they like to eat for breakfast. While the typical American breakfast consists of ingredients such as eggs, fruit, pancakes, cereal and coffee, the texture and taste preferences for individuals’ morning meals vary significantly across cultures.
As you enjoy your favorite cup of joe, become inspired by an abundance of unique breakfast options in other cultural traditions. While some of these ingredients may be familiar as part of your morning cuisine, here is a sampling of ways Brazilians, Egyptians and Russians incorporate unique flavors into their most popular breakfast staples.
Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)
SERVINGS: 25 – 30 puffs
1/2 cup whole milk
Scant 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups cassava flour (or substitute tapioca flour)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups Parmesan or sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- Put 1/2 cup water, the milk, vegetable oil and salt in a large pan and bring to a boil.
- As soon as it rises up the sides of the pan, remove it from the heat.
- Quickly tip in the flour and stir vigorously to combine. Keep stirring until the mixture comes together as a wet dough and comes away from the side of the pan.
- Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and let cool slightly.
- Once slightly cooled, add the eggs and start mixing at a low speed.
- After 1 to 2 minutes, increase the speed to high and beat vigorously until all the egg has been incorporated and the dough is smooth.
- Add the Parmesan or cheddar and keep beating until the cheese is evenly mixed in.
- Line a baking sheet with silicone liner or baking parchment.
- With damp or lightly oiled hands, roll tablespoons of the dough into small balls, about 1 ounce each.
- You may need to wash your hands occasionally, as the dough is quite sticky. (If you have one, use a small ice-cream scoop to make this easier. Dip the scoop briefly in water, then flick away any excess water before scooping each ball).
- Arrange the balls 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. (You can prepare them a few hours ahead and put the tray in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake.)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed up and evenly golden brown.
The freshly-baked puffs should have a crisp exterior and a doughy, chewy center. Serve immediately for the decadent, melt-in-your-mouth flavor of pao de quiejo.
Ful Medames (Egyptian Fava Beans)
1 1⁄2 lbs dried fava beans
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
- Soak beans overnight in water.
- Drain, and cover with fresh water in large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until beans are tender.
- Drain and place in medium bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients.
Beans and remaining ingredients are more commonly served mashed together, but the beans can be left whole and gently mixed with the other ingredients. Serve hot with a fried egg and flatbread, and feel free to garnish with chopped tomatoes or parsley for dynamic flavor.
Sirniki (Russian Cheese Pancakes)
1 lb farmer cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup flour, plus
Extra flour, for dipping
2 tablespoons butter (approximate)
Sour cream or jam, for serving
Note: Farmer cheese is usually found near the cream cheese in grocery stores.
- In a food processor, pulse the farmer cheese until it is uniformly crumpled. Add the eggs, sugar, salt and 1/2 cup of flour. Pulse or mix to combine. Refrigerate 1 hour, or even overnight. The dough will remain thick but sticky.
- Put approximately 1/3 cup of flour into a bowl and use this to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. Using 2 teaspoons, drop balls of dough into the flour, roll them round and flatten to about 3/8 inches thick. Place them on a plate in a single layer until all the patties are all formed.
- Heat a frying pan with 1 tablespoon butter and fry the patties on each side until golden. You will need to add more butter as you go.
Serve the pancakes hot with sour cream and/or jam on top for a rich boost of flavor. This recipe will make approximately 20 small patties.
Pao de Queijo via Food Republic
Ful Medames via Food.com
Sirniki via Food.com