Sure, you can always go to Waffle House and get a safe and comfy breakfast there. But if you’re the adventurous type, you may want to start your day with these rather strange breakfast options from around the world:
Vegemite Sandwich, Australia
You might have heard about the vegemite sandwich from that popular 1980s track “Down Under” by Men at Work. It’s a real thing, though it’s not exactly popular around the world except in Australia.
It originated as a substitute for the popular Marmite, during the years before the First World War when the country had trouble getting supplies from Europe. So, the Aussies just made their own version of Marmite, and called it Vegemite.
It’s quite salty, though, so you’re supposed to put only a little bit of it on your sandwich. And the taste can be very strange. You’ll either love it or hate it—there’s no in-between for most people.
Chocolate Sprinkles and Toast, the Netherlands
The Dutch people may seem like most folks in the Western world, but they have this rather strange custom of having some dessert for breakfast. They put in what they call hagelslag onto their toast for breakfast, and it’s like the chocolate sprinkles that Americans are more likely to top their ice cream with.
This doesn’t have to be chocolate, though. Some variants of the sprinkles bear vanilla or even fruity flavors. What you do is to first spread some butter on your toast, and then you add the hagelslag.
It’s not really a sugary treat, if you’re afraid of that. Most of the high-quality sprinkles that the Dutch use contain just cocoa and cocoa butter, so it’s actually healthier that some sugar-bomb cereals.
Ackee and Saltfish, Jamaica
Having fish for breakfast certainly is unusual, but this isn’t really what’s strange about this breakfast. It’s the ackee. The ackee is actually the national fruit of Jamaica, and fruit is nutritious for breakfast, so what’s weird about this?
What’s weird is that if you eat unripe or improperly prepared ackee, it can send you to the hospital. The fruit, when it’s not ripe yet, has high levels of hypoglycin, which is a toxin that can cause pain, cramos, severe vomiting, nausea, and extreme sweating. Back in 2011, the Ministry of Health in Jamaica even released an alert when at least 35 people suffered from ackee poisoning within a period of 6 weeks.
So, you better make sure you eat only the ripe and properly packaged ackee if you dare to try this out!
Cow’s Blood, Kenya
More specifically, this is a breakfast option for the Masai people, who might start the day with a fresh hot cup of blood taken straight from the throat of a cow that they’ve just slaughtered. It’s not exactly an appealing notion, and it’s off-putting enough that it was one of the challenges in the old Survivor TV series.
Even the Masai don’t exactly drink cow’s blood for breakfast on a regular basis. It’s a special treat only if there’s a special occasion, such as a wedding.
Black Pudding, UK and Ireland
It’s not quite the fresh cow’s blood of the Masai, but the black pudding in the UK is also made from blood. In this case, it’s pig’s blood. That’s why it tastes like you placed an old penny on your tongue.
They mix the pig’s blood with some oatmeal and fat, and then pack everything into a sausage tube. Then they either fry, grill, or boil the sausage, before they serve it with your toast, eggs, and baked beans.
Miso Soup with Grilled Fish, Japan
Sure, having fish for breakfast seems a bit fishy, pardon the pun. But then again, it’s a filling meal that can start your day nicely. Usually, the fish is salmon, so you’re getting lots of protein and omega-3s along with vitamins and minerals.
They make the miso soup with a base of soybeans along with veggies, stock, and either barley malt or rice malt. Sometimes, they also put in some side dishes like mixed pickles made from cabbage and cucumber, along with a small omelet. Compared to the other dishes on this list, this breakfast seems downright familiar!