For those of you who don’t know, brunch is a fancy word for a meal eaten after breakfast and before, or in place of, lunch. The word alone conjures up images of delicious nibbles served alongside mimosas and the elegantly wealthy. But brunch has grown in popularity and is the perfect way to enjoy some time with friends whilst indulging in a buffet style meal that doesn’t have to cost the earth.
A Brief History of Brunch
The exact origins of this meal are a little hazy but it seems to have found its fame in England in the late 1800’s. The term “brunch” was first used in print by British writer Guy Beringer who wrote in Hunter’s Weekly, “Brunch: A Plea.” Beringer’s article was about changing the largely accepted heavy “Sunday supper” for a lighter, more sociable meal. By the 1920’s Brunch had reached the shores of America, finding its roots in Chicago, where the Hollywood celebrities and wealthy elite would frequently make a stop on their transcontinental train journeys to enjoy a late morning meal. Because brunch was made popular by the rich and famous, it was most often served with alcoholic drinks on the side. However, in the post-war era brunch became more commonplace as a casual weekend meal after a long work week and the popularity of alcoholic drinks declined.
What Time Do You Host a Brunch?
Brunch is served after breakfast as a light lunch. It is most acceptable to serve this meal any time between 10am and 3pm. Once the weekend rolls round, the rules change and meals take on a more relaxed feel without set times. This means that essentially brunch replaces lunch and is really a very easy going affair which could last for a few hours as guests nibble delicious foods and sip on drinks; alcoholic or non-alcoholic.
What Do You Serve for Brunch
Modern day brunches are eaten all over the world, and not just by the wealthy. However, brunch is still associated with luxury and often includes a smorgasbord of indulgent dishes, varying from country to country. In China, you’ll find dim sum brunches consisting of stuffed buns, dumplings, and other sweet or savoury dishes which are picked off of passing carts with dishes continuously brought straight out from the kitchen. In Canada, brunch is a weekend family meal eaten in the dining room and can several hours. The foods served are normally along the lines of waffles, bagels, egg dishes, fruit, fish, salads, cheeses, and desserts. In South Africa it is also a family meal and is normally made up of pancakes and a selection of fruits.
However if you want something a little more continental, these ideas are a great place to start:
Croissants with Brie and Strawberries/figs, ham and Emmental, fresh butter and jams, smoked salmon and cream cheese, etc.
Smoked Salmon flatbread
Muffins (English, bran, breakfast, blueberry, etc.)
Beetroot and Haloumi salad
Avocado on French loaf with roasted baby tomatoes
Waffles with berry coulis, banana, walnuts, shaved almonds and honey, etc.
Frittatas or quiches (spinach and feta, slow roasted veg, three cheese and Italian tomatoes, etc.)
French toast with blueberries
Pancakes or crumpets/flapjacks
Selection of fruits
Fresh orange juice
There you have it, a beginners guide to hosting your very own brunch!
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