Even the most seasoned expat used to living abroad and getting used to different cultures, will tell you that breakfast will have to be something they are comfortable with. Breakfast helps us to start the day, is very much habitual and constant, and who wants to experiment with their taste-buds first thing in the morning??
This article mentions the changes in American breakfast habits in recent years. It used to be that a box of cereal and milk with orange juice was a staple in every American household. Now, cereal sales are struggling and people are changing their habits! What is your family’s typical breakfast like these days?
As a foreigner living in China, we have come across many different types of breakfasts. In the north, people like to grab freshly steamed wheat buns with filling (baozi) or without filling (mantou). Some will go for a fried dough version (youtiao), which might resemble a straight doughnut, but a little salty. All these breakfast options can be washed down with fresh, warm soy milk. And then there is porridge, that can pretty much be found anywhere. You can add any condiments or pickles of your choice.
My personal favorite breakfast so far in China, is the rice noodle soup from Yunnan province. It’s a simple broth with slippery rice noodles, with all the condiments your heart can desire. When you walk up to the window, you must make a choice of the type of rice noodle (flat, wide, thin, etc.) and choice of meat (pork chop, ground pork, pork with ginger, pork blood, beef, chicken, etc.). They are usually about $1. The condiment table is filled with different herbs, sauces, hot pepper sauce, bean paste and pickles. My favorite is chopped herbs, hot pepper sauce, freshly pickled vegetables and if I don’t have to meet with anybody, chopped garlic. As you can imagine, each bowl of noodle becomes a completely different item with your customization.
After being exposed to many different types of flavors and breakfast options, I still cannot wake up without my coffee. I can’t imagine coffee ever being replaced by tea or warm soy milk.
- Yumi Zaic