Which of these can be either healthy or laden down with sugar, chocolate, marshmallows and more?
Cereal is a staple at nearly any Continental breakfast because it's usually pretty cheap and easy, so even the most uncaring motel will toss a box of Rice Krispies your way. Though it's come a long way from its originals, cereal gets its name from the Roman goddess of the harvest, Ceres.
Do you know which breakfast staple comes from Jewish communities in Poland?
Bagels are hand-shaped rings of yeast dough that have been a staple of Jewish cuisine for centuries. One of the earliest known references to bagels dates all the way back to 1610.
There's not a ton of difference between these items and cupcakes when you think about it. What are they?
Muffins can get a little confusing, depending on where you live in the world. In North America, if you say "muffin," you're talking about a baked quick bread muffin that's usually sweet and perhaps filled with fruit or nuts of some kind. In Britain, a muffin is an entirely different thing. It's what North Americans call an Engish Muffin, and it's typically a kind of flatbread.
This is the quintessential French breakfast pastry. Name it!
Croissants, as we know them today, are the result of the baking skills of a Viennese baker who opened a bakery in Paris in 1839. The owner, an Austrian artillery officer named August Zang, inspired numerous imitators who went on to make croissants world famous.
Which breakfast item dates back to Scotland in the 1500s?
Scones are cake-like baked goods often served with tea in the United Kingdom. There's some debate about how exactly the word "scone" is supposed to be pronounced. Some say it rhymes with "gone," and others say it rhymes with "bone."
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In its simplest form, this food dates back nearly 3,000 years. What is it?
Oats have been cultivated for thousands of years. Modern oatmeal is a pretty easy thing to make and can be microwaved for just a few minutes. Back in the day, you needed to soak the oats overnight in saltwater if you wanted to eat them the next day.
Different versions of this breakfast item can be found on pretty much every continent on Earth. Name it!
Variations of pancakes exist in most countries around the world, from the thin French crepe to the savory rice chataamari of Nepal. They can be savory or sweet and topped with just about anything you could imagine.
Which of these used to be a trademark but is now just a generic term?
Granola was trademarked by John Harvey Kellogg and sold as a breakfast cereal in the late 1800s. The trademark was allowed to lapse, so now anyone who makes a similar product in North America can call it granola. If you're in Australia and New Zealand, it's still under trademark, though.
Ancient Romans and Persians were eating dishes similar to this. What is it?
Omelets or omelettes, depending on your spelling preferences, are generally associated with French cuisine, and the word "alumete" seems to be an earlier version from the 14th century. Mixing eggs and other ingredients seems to have been a worldwide phenomenon, however.
Do you know which one of these foods was created to be a healthier menu choice?
Turkey bacon has only been around since sometime in the 1990s, an attempt to cash in on people's desire to eat healthier, low-fat options than traditional pork bacon. Because turkey doesn't have any natural cuts that would serve as bacon, turkey bacon is made from cuts that are chopped and reformed into strips.
This is an integral part of any country breakfast. What is it?
Breakfast sausage is generally served in either patty or link form and is a staple part of Southern breakfasts where it's often added to white gravy with biscuits. The main difference between breakfast sausage and regular sausage is the size (breakfast sausages are typically smaller) and seasonings, which are often fairly simple in breakfast versions.
Sweet or savory toppings can accompany this breakfast item. Tell us what it is.
English muffins, which in the United Kingdom are just called muffins, have a lot of versatility in how they get used in breakfast. Arguably the most famous English muffin in the world is the McDonald's Egg McMuffin.
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Do you know which breakfast item is very much dependent on the season?
Fruit salad is the standard fresh item on any Continental breakfast menu. Generally served with melon, like cantaloupe or honeydew, and also seasonal berries, like blueberries or strawberries, it's about as simple as breakfast can get.
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People have been enjoying this since the 1500s. What is it?
Coffee is so synonymous with breakfast these days that the U.S. market alone is worth over $45 billion. It's hard to nail down an exact date when people first started brewing coffee, but it seems to date back to the 15th century in Ethiopia.
Belgium is probably best known for this breakfast treat. Tell us what it is.
Waffles are so popular that we have appliances that exist only to make them and restaurant chains that are named after them. They're a very old breakfast item with roots dating back to ancient Greece.
Which breakfast treat is sweet fried dough that can be topped or filled hundreds of ways?
You can thank the Dutch for introducing donuts to the world when Dutch settlers brought their "oil cakes" with them to the New World. Back then, they were just fried dough, not necessarily in a ring shape. Washington Irving, who wrote "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," is credited with being the first person to call them doughnuts in print.
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Puff pastry is the key to a good one of these. What is it called?
Danish pastry sort of comes from Denmark but, in fairness, is attributed to Austrian bakers who created it there. According to legend, there was a strike at Danish bakeries back in the day, so they had to hire workers from other countries. The Austrian bakers made what would become world-renowned as Danish.
It's hard to say who invented this item but a New Mexican diner claims to be the first to name it on a menu. What did they call it?
Breakfast burritos are very much like breakfast sandwiches but prepared with a tortilla instead of bread. They can vary from having traditionally southwestern ingredients, like chorizo and salsa, or they can be more like a traditional American breakfast of eggs, potatoes and cheese. Tia Sophia's diner in New Mexico claims they coined the name "breakfast burrito" in 1975.
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This product is called "farina" but most know it by the trademarked name. What is it?
Cream of Wheat is made from milled wheat and looks a bit like grits but has a different texture when it's cooked. It's often served as an alternative to grits or oatmeal with brown sugar and milk, or fruit.
Back in the day, this was used to flavor drinks. Name it!
Toast as a breakfast food is not nearly as old as toast itself. In the 1400s and 1500s, toast was used to flavor drinks and then it could be eaten or just tossed out. Shakespeare even used a reference to toast as a drink flavoring in "The Merry Wives of Windsor."
Which beverage owes its popularity in part to World War II?
Orange juice got a huge boost in World War II when the U.S. Army quartermaster offered a contract to anyone who could find a way to make frozen orange juice because the government wanted a way to get Vitamin C to troops in a way that didn't taste awful. Previous frozen orange juice lost its taste quickly and turned disgusting. The result was a huge boom in the frozen juice market that had never existed.
Do you know which dish is so easy to make it may literally be impossible to mess it up unless you overcook it?
Scrambled eggs, unlike most egg dishes, require almost no effort or technique. You mix eggs and apply heat. In its simplest form, it's just eggs, but you can add all kinds of extras — from simple salt and pepper, to milk, cream, chives, or cheese.
In French, they call this "pain perdu." What do most people know it as?
French toast is one of those dishes that has spread to every corner of the globe, and, as such, there are numerous variations. Hong Kong French toast is like a whole sandwich that gets battered and fried. Some variations require the bread to be soaked, not in milk but wine or juice.
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What's the name of this simple and popular breakfast side dish?
Homefries are one of the simplest side dishes around consisting of just potatoes. They can be seasoned however you like, but generally, they're just pan-fried and kept pretty simple. Why mess with a potato? It's good.
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Ancient Greeks enjoyed this food. What is it?
Yogurt is a surprisingly old food item, likely perfected by Greeks and sweetened with honey back in the day. It was also a staple of cuisine for medieval Turks, and the word "yogurt" comes from a Turkish word.
Do you know which iconic breakfast food is a Chinese innovation from thousands of years ago?
Bacon was first created in China where salted pork belly was perfected. The process expanded during Medieval times throughout Europe when pork curing methods were refined as a way to keep the meat preserved.
Which diner staple was first written about in the late 1800s?
Hash browns, which began life as "hashed brown potatoes," are just shredded potatoes that are they browned in a pan. The hash part of the name comes from the French word "hacher" for chopped.
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You can get these in cups or boxes. What are they?
Breakfast isn't necessarily supposed to be fun, but single-serving cereal cups and boxes are about as fun as breakfast gets. Boxes that could be cut open and used as a bowl have been a staple part of any camping trip since the '70s.
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People may have started drinking this popular drink nearly 5,000 years ago. Tell us what it is.
Legend has it that tea was consumed in China as far back as 2737 BC. Tea began to expand elsewhere in the world after the British began moving seeds and plants out of China to try to set up a tea industry of their own in India as part of an attempt to break China's monopoly over the industry.
It's likely this dish was invented around the same time as pottery. What is it?
Boiled eggs are probably one of the earliest egg innovations. Eggs have been eaten for as long as people have been eating anything. But boiled eggs had to wait until we mastered pottery and containers, so we had something in which to boil the water.
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Do you know which breakfast item is most famously associated with New York delis?
A bagel and lox is a pretty traditional breakfast in American Jewish cuisine. It's a bagel with cream cheese that has lox, or a brined salmon filet, on it. Lox gets its name from laks, the Yiddish word for salmon.
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This breakfast dish is easy enough to make on your own with a few simple items. Tell us what it is.
Breakfast sandwiches are a staple of breakfasts all around the world but especially in North America where you can find them at fast food places and even gas stations. There aren't a lot of rules to a breakfast sandwich, but oddly enough, they're not that old an innovation, either. The idea of eating meat, eggs and cheese for breakfast is a 19th-century innovation.
Which dish traces its roots back to the Muskogee tribe, who introduced it to the first American settlers?
Grits are one of the simplest and iconic Southern breakfast dishes. Though there's a real art to cooking them properly, they're a deceptively simple item. Grits are just ground and boiled cornmeal, though there is a lot you can do to spruce them up — from adding butter, cheese, bacon, or shrimp.
This layered dish looks like a dessert but is usually made with healthy ingredients. What is it called?
Yogurt parfaits are essentially someone's healthy twist on the traditional French parfait dessert. Those are usually made with things like custard, ice cream, whipped cream and more. The yogurt parfait swaps in vanilla yogurt, granola and fresh fruit.
The further north you go, the less likely you are to find this item on the menu. Name it!
Huevos rancheros means "ranch-style eggs" and it's a traditional Mexican breakfast or brunch item. More traditional places will serve them with corn tortillas and salsa fresca. Less traditional places will serve them with sour cream and cheese and other traditional American taco toppings.
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Do you know which of these items is called a snail in Denmark?
Cinnamon buns are such a remarkably popular pastry that Cinnabon, the restaurant chain that pretty much only makes cinnamon buns, has more than 1,200 stores in 48 countries around the world. People seriously love cinnamon buns.
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In Europe, you might hear this called a gugelhupf. Do you know it?
Coffee cake is one of the more simple and portable items you'd find on a Continental breakfast menu. The cake can be flavored with coffee to make the name fit, but it can also be served with coffee and have any flavor you like.
Which of these breakfast items is like a savory egg pie?
Quiche is a traditional French dish that dates back to the early 1800s. It's a next-level item that you'll find on the menu at some classier hotels. One of the most popular varieties, the quiche Lorraine, is named for a region in France and is made with bacon, onions and cheese.
No Southern breakfast is complete without some of these. What are they?
Biscuits can mean different things to different people. An American would know a British biscuit as a cookie. But a proper, flaky biscuit from the Southern United States has been a staple on breakfast, lunch and dinner menus for ages, and they have existed since before the Civil War.
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You could consider this a savory bread pudding that's made with cheese and sometimes eggs. What is it?
Strata is a bit like a quiche, and you can find it as an option on some nicer Continental breakfast menus. The name "strata" is a reference to the layers in the dish which is prepared kind of like lasagna, using bread instead of noodles.
A Continental breakfast is traditionally a pretty light breakfast with some limited offerings, but depending on where you're staying and how hungry you are, that breakfast can include a lot of variety. In Europe, the continent to which "Continental" refers, a Continental breakfast can be very small and very scant with just some fruit and pastry. In North America, the spread often depends on the quality of the place where you're staying. In the grimmest circumstances, you might get stale, loose cereal or withered fruit. Some places will add waffles you can top yourself and drinks. And truly fancy places will go all out with hot breakfast offerings and things like sausage, bacon and omelet bars. You never really know what you might end up getting unless you research a place ahead of time, which, if you're serious about breakfast, you really ought to do.
From the cheapest and most basic offerings to the highest quality, most savory and delicious options, there can be a lot on offer with your Continental breakfast. If you have that foodie nature, you should be able to get most of these, don't you think? There's one way to find out. Get your coffee and dig into the quiz!
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