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TRENDS: Breakfast For Dinner

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This idea, from Krusteaz, adds peanut butter
and jelly for a riff on the PB&J sandwich.
Here’s the recipe. Photo courtesy Krusteaz.
  Can it be true that 9 out of 10 Americans enjoy Breakfast Night?

After a long day of tasting foods for THE NIBBLE, we often welcome a simple dinner of cereal, eggs or French toast. But we are not alone; we’re part of the 90 percent!

Krusteaz, maker of premium pancake, waffle and other baking mixes, has just released the results of its annual breakfast survey, a national poll conducted by an independent research firm*. Breakfast for Dinner continues to be a popular trend in the U.S.

  • More than half of the survey participants enjoy Breakfast Night dinners once a month or more, with nearly 25% eating Breakfast For Dinner once a week.
  • Those with children at home are somewhat more likely to eat breakfast for dinner (94% vs. 88% without kids in the house). For 30% of families, Breakfast Night is a weekly affair that’s either “very enjoyable” or their “absolute favorite.”
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    In a shift from 2014, more kids are helping out in the kitchen. Thirty-nine percent of responders said that Breakfast Night preparation is a “joint effort,” compared to just 17% of last year’s survey participants.

     
    What makes Breakfast Night so popular?

  • Thirty-eight percent of survey participants noted that having all the ingredients on hand is the main appeal.
  • Thirty-five percent cite the “love” of breakfast food (the comfort food factor?).
  • Thirty-one percent like that it is easier and faster than preparing a traditional dinner.
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    Families with children at home are more likely to use Breakfast Night as family night, when Dad’s in charge, and for celebratory occasions such as birthdays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

    Krusteaz has selected Wednesday dinner to be Breakfast Night. Need recipes? Head to Krusteaz.com.

     
    *The Breakfast for Dinner survey was conducted by ORC International on behalf of Krusteaz. Findings are based on an online survey of 2,033 U.S. adults ages 18 and older in August 2015.
     
    THE HISTORY OF MEAL TIMES

    The history of meal times could fill a large book. The number of meals consumed per day differs greatly from culture to culture, by era and by socioeconomic status.

    In Europe alone, the name of the meal and time of day vary widely. Depending on the era, dinner could be in the morning or late afternoon. In the millennia before electricity, people lived differently than we do, typically retiring at nightfall. In the winter, that meant the last meal of the day was what we might call a late lunch.

    Thanks to FoodTimeline.org for most of this information:

  • In ancient Greece meal times were variable, but a midday meal was usually called ariston lunch… and an evening meal deipnon, dinner. The latter was typically the biggest meal of the day, and for some of the poor, the only meal.
  • In medieval times, the very poor ate when they could (as was true since the beginning of mankind), but the slightly better-off peasants ate three times a day: breakfast at a very early hour, dinner at about 9 a.m. and supper before it got dark, which could be as early as 3 p.m. in the winter.
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  • In Christian countries, the times and number of meals were originally derived from the hours of devotions of the Church. Monks ate their main meal after the celebration of nones, which was nine hours after daybreak—some time between midday and 3 p.m. The evening meal was after vespers, around sunset. For lay people, to break one’s fast after devotions was the general procedure.
  • Through the Renaissance, the larger meal was the prandium, or dinner, at ten or eleven in the morning. Supper, coena in Latin, was served around six in the evening. Most authors agreed that two meals a day were sufficient, although the English vehemently defended their custom of taking breakfast.
  • Breakfast was not a popular meal elsewhere. Writings suggest that it was only eaten by children and laborers. But by the 15th century it was commonly consumed by everyone. However, a 1478 household ordinance of Edward IV specified that only residents down to the rank of squires should be given breakfast, except by special order (sounds like budgeting).
  • At some point, there were four meals a day: breakfast, dinner, nuntions or nuncheons (eaten by workmen around noon) and late supper.
  • With the advent of oil lamps, the evening meal was served later in the day. In southern Europe, where the evening meal was the largest of the day, breakfast did not become important—merely coffee and perhaps a piece of bread or a pastry.
  •   English Breakfast
    This is just part of an English breakfast,
    which can also include porridge, fruit,
    baked beans and other favorites. The practice of eating a large breakfast emerged in the 19th century. Photo © Indigolotos | 123rf.
  • In England and northern Europe, by the 18th century breakfast was the norm, eaten around 9 or 10 a.m. In the 19th century breakfast emerged as a full and sumptuous meal with bacon, eggs and even steaks for those who could afford them. Afternoon tea, as a snack between lunch and dinner, was created in 1840 by Anna, Seventh Duchess of Bedford (here’s the history of afternoon tea).
  • Thus, the three-meals-a-day practice is a relatively recent phenomenon—and of course only relates to those who could afford three meals a day.
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