The great British breakfast is legendary: The exact menu varies, but it typically includes eggs, bacon, sausages, toast, mushrooms, black pudding and, believe it or not, baked beans. It sounds strange to us Americans, but our friends across the Atlantic are fond of adding a big scoop of Heinz Baked Beans to their breakfast plates. This British version of the beans (in a tomato sauce, no pork or bacon added), comes in a blue can and can be tough to find in American markets. Fortunately, the English Tea Store carries them, along with a bunch of other British foods.
Once you can get past the oddness of having beans for breakfast, you may find that eating them first thing in the morning makes a bit of sense, particularly on cold days. Hot, savory beans supply a good dose of fiber and protein, and add a bit of variety to a plateful of meat and eggs. In fact, if you visit the United Kingdom, I strongly advise the consumption of a “full English” breakfast each day before sightseeing: It’ll keep you going all day, you may not even need to stop for lunch. If you still can’t wrap your mind around beans first thing in the morning, try beans on toast, another popular dish in the UK, for lunch or a light dinner. Pour hot beans over buttered toast, top with some grated cheese if you like, and eat.
As for tea pairings, you really can’t go wrong with classic English or Irish breakfast teas — the stronger, the better. My own suggestions would be either the English Tea Store’s English Breakfast #1 or their Irish Breakfast, both of which have the strength to stand up to the baked beans and clear your palate of rich flavors. Both these teas have the bonus of being fairly caffeinated, thus giving you that extra bit of energy needed to really get your day going.
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