If you speak to any Aussie, American or Brit about brunch, I can guarantee that they’ll proudly profess this awesome tradition originated with them.
I’ll leave it up to you to pass judgement but a lazy Sunday sitting in the sunshine with a belly full of avocado is certainly an unbeatable past-time.
It was one such Sunday in a post-brunch happy haze when I started thinking about the plethora of different, multinational dishes that seem to be captured under the brunch heading these days.
So in the spirit of my all-time favourite meal, I’ve put together my top brunch dishes inspired by my travels… dig in and enjoy!
Smoked salmon and dill on rye – Scandinavia
There is nothing quite like some freshly-smoked Norwegian salmon laid out over a warm buttered slice of rye bread. Toast the rye bread until it starts to go a bit crispy around the edges.
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Slap on some butter and a thin spreading of cream cheese before lovingly laying out your salmon slices and topping with a few sprigs of fresh dill. Serve it with a slice of lemon to really bring out that fresh seafood zing.
** Disclaimer – I’m a veggie, so this is a guest entry from my sister. But I trust her tastes implicitly and she raves about this so I had to include it!**
Avocado on toast – Australia
It’s a simple but oh-so satisfying option.
My preferred way of enjoying this classic which (apparently ) originated from the land Down Under is to mash the avocado with a pinch of chilli powder, a dash of lemon and a sprinkling of sea salt.
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I then toast a slice of sourdough bread and pile the avocado mixture on, nice and thick. Finish it off with some sweet cherry tomatoes and a pretentious, chef-y drizzle of the finest olive oil. Rose detail optional…
Tropical bowls – Bali
Inspired by the vibrant, tropical fruits of Indonesia, I am a big fan of a smoothie bowl with all the toppings.
I like to whizz up some frozen mango, a bit of yogurt and some ice cubes to recreate the consistency of ice cream.
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I then put this in a bowl and cover with whatever tasty toppings I can find in the cupboard; desiccated coconut, cacao nibs, goji berries, some additional whole fruits all topped off with a drizzle of the finest peanut butter.
Blueberry pancakes – the United States
The ultimate indulgent brunch has to be fluffy blueberry pancakes with a generous serving of maple syrup on the side.
I’m all about efficiency when it comes to the kitchen and my pancake recipe totally fits this brief.
I chuck some oats in to my food processor and whizz them up until they resemble flour.
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I then throw in a banana, some almond milk and vanilla essence and whizz up until it is smooth, before adding a handful of blueberries. A couple of minutes on each side in the frying pan and the pancakes are ready.
Top with Greek yogurt and some more blueberries, and the brunch of dreams is ready to munch.
Suffice to say that the rest of the morning after these will be spent predominantly horizontal!
Huevos Rancheros – Mexico
The humble egg is no longer confined to being served either boiled, poached or scrambled.
It now serves as the hero ingredient for many an exotic dish. Huevos Rancheros is simply the Mexican name for eggs with chillies, tomatoes and peppers.
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The tomato, chilli and pepper mixture is cooked down slowly with onion, smoked paprika and salt and pepper.
Then crack two eggs into the mixture and bake it in the oven until the whites are just cooked and the yolks are still runny.
Croissants and cocoa – France
An oldie but a goldie is this good old French-inspired bakery brunch with a creamy hot chocolate.
Growing up, it was always a Sunday treat to have a croissant-based feast, something – in our naivety – we just thought of as a late breakfast but would most definitely be referred to as brunch today.
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A weekly dose of hot, buttery croissants (would you believe me if I said they was homemade?) slathered in my Granny’s home-made raspberry jam accompanied by a milky cup of cocoa was definitely a highlight of my childhood.
Spiced banana bread – the Caribbean
This is a personal favourite of mine. Cake for breakfast – what a winner!
I like to make a banana bread loaf at the weekend and then freeze the individual slices so that cake for breakfast is a quick, easy option any day of the week.
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When the mood takes me, I whip a piece out of the freezer, pop it in the toaster and enjoy warm slathered either in home-made espresso butter and more slices of banana or peanut butter and some ripe, juicy blueberries.
I guess if we were really sticking to the Caribbean roots of banana bread, something a bit tropical would be more appropriate; the topping choices are endless!
A veggie full English – the UK
The full English has come a long way from the greasy rasher of bacon, plump sausage and slightly wet-looking fried egg, accompanied by slice after slice of toasted white bread.
Nowadays, there is many a variation on this classic and my personal favourite is built around a salty, squeaky slice of grilled halloumi cheese.
Add in some thyme and garlic mushrooms, half an avocado, some tenderly roasted on the vine cherry tomatoes and the obligatory baked beans and you have the ideal full English veggie breakfast on a plate.
It’s such a versatile option, as there are so many potential inclusions. And as a Brit, I like to think we lead the way on a good cooked breakfast/brunch option.
Brunch is well and truly ingrained in many cultures across the world and wherever you travel, you will always stumble across a new option. I, for one, am forever adding to my repertoire!