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Eurovision breakfast, keep the glitz but hold the cheese

Heather Wallace

Sunday breakfasts are a leisurely ritual for me.

At the crack of 10.30 I emerge sleepy and warm, make myself scrambled eggs and a steaming hot pot of tea and settle in to luxuriate in the slow bliss of it all.

But not this Sunday morning! I’ll be up before the sun, joining millions of people for the over the top gloriousness of Eurovision. SBS kicks off their live broadcast at 5am and like all the other hardcore Eurovision fans, I’m not going to miss a moment.

Eurovision parties have taken on a different flavour in Australia ever since we started getting up to watch the broadcast in real time. Rather than a steady diet of Swedish meatballs and cheese fondue in the evening, it’s breakfast fare that we fans tuck into as we cheer our favourite performers.

So to help you prepare your own celebratory feast tomorrow, come with me on a whirlwind trip through the kitchens of Europe…

Full English breakfast

It might be spring in Europe but we’re facing freezing temperatures in Canberra and a hot, cooked breakfast could be the goer. An English breakfast is heavy on the hearty, so if you can face it you’ll be frying up a couple of eggs, some rashers of bacon, tomato and mushrooms in a sizzling pan while heating baked beans on the side. Don’t forget the fried slice. Yes in just in case there wasn’t enough cholesterol on your plate, take a slice of bread and fry it in some lard!

If your tastes are taking you further north to Scotland, add a black pudding and some haggis to get your daily dose of offal!

I doubt I’ll be able to manage any of that at 5am but there will be a point in the show where I’m pouring myself a Bucks Fizz breakfast cocktail (orange juice and bubbles) in honour of the UK’s 1981 winners. “You gotta speed it up, and then you gotta slow it down…”

France

Are you ready for pasty heaven? Of course you are. Warm, buttery croissants, soft and light brioche buns, and of course, pain au chocolates that are the perfect combination of sweet pasty and slightly bitter dark chocolate centre. But please, please, please don’t call them chocolate croissants! They are not crescent shaped! Nil points!

Spain 

The Spanish breakfasts tend to be quite light galletas (light biscuits) or magdalenas (mini cakes) washed down with coffee. And for all those fans of churros con chocolate, don’t forget it’s an autumn and winter treat in Spain, so right now you can enjoy what they have to wait months for. If you’re after something more filling you could whip up a tortilla with eggs and potato to keep you going all day.

Portugal

Turning to Spain’s neighbour and cousin, Portugal, I thought they’d have a similar type of breakfast on offer. Naïve me typed “Portuguese breakfast” into Google and came up with an Urban Dictionary link I definitely wasn’t expecting.

Chorizo sandwich. Image via facebook.com/nikkosbakingstudio

Chorizo sandwich. Image via facebook.com/nikkosbakingstudio

I’m not even going to add a link because we’re not that kind of site! However, I did manage to find out though that a typical Portuguese breakfast sandwich is made of chorizo and egg, so let’s say no more okay?

Montenegro 

Did you see Montenegro’s Eurovision entrant this year? Beefcake must be a very popular dish there. It’s a shame he didn’t make it through the semi-finals.

Montenegro entrant.. Image via facebook.com/Eurovision

Montenegro entrant.. Image via facebook.com/Eurovision

For breakfast you’ll get cicvara, stewed cornmeal with salted and compressed cream called kaymark, and topped with čvarci (diced bacon).

Germany and Austria

Wursts, local cheeses and freshly baked bread grace the table for a typical German and Austrian breakfast. With wurst sausages such a staple, it’s no coincidence that the fabulous Conchita Wurst is from Austria.

Denmark

This one seems easy right? Danishes for everyone! Cherry Danish, cheese Danish, custard Danish, apple Danish, the list goes on and go.

Did you know that Denmark they’re actually known as wienerbrød, “Viennese bread”? Austrian bakers originally brought the recipe to the country. Danish bakers adopted the recipes and added their own touches.

Turkey

If you’re a fan of watermelon, fetta and mint, throw all these together in a bowl for a colourful and delicious Turkish breakfast salad. Normally I’m the first person to start singing “you don’t win friends with salad!” but I’ll make an exception for this.

Kaymak with honey. Image via facebook.com/roshnibajaj

Kaymak with honey. Image via facebook.com/roshnibajaj

Or go for kaymak, a thick, clotted cream similar to ricotta that you can spread on bread and smear honey on. What’s Eurovision without some sticky moments?

Finland

From the land that gave us Lordi, the most unforgettable Eurovision act in history (imagine a supergroup of White Walkers and Orcs taking to the stage) comes leipäjuusto, described as bread cheese, cooked in the oven that squeaks when you bite into it. The serving suggestion is best hot with cloudberry jam. Squeaky cheese? You first Lordi.

The Netherlands

I know you’ve all started thinking of those little parcels of icing sugar covered goodness. I’m sorry everyone, but poffertje, those wonderful little Dutch pancakes that are a hit at Canberra festivals year round, aren’t breakfast foods. Sad, sad face.

Poffertje. Image via facebook.com/thatslifeMag

Poffertje. Image via facebook.com/thatslifeMag

Mind you that didn’t stop me indulging in them for a hang over breakfast the morning after Eurovision’s 2015 grand finale, when I was visiting one of my best friends in Rotterdam. My friends there are multilingual but for my sake were listening to the English commentary. As the night wore on though and the Eurovision drinking games progressed my friends stopped speaking in English and switched to Dutch. That was totally fine with me, sure English is the only language I’m fluent in, but by that stage I’d completely forgotten how to speak it too!

But back to breakfast food, I asked my Rotterdam friend what she normally eats for breakfast and she replied “yoghurt with muesli, wholegrain bread with cheese or sometimes porridge”. Oh well, it just leaves room for poffertje later in the day.

So there you go Eurovision lovers, take your pick! As I’m stumbling around the kitchen at 5am I suspect the only thing I’ll be craving is that most Australian of breakfasts…toast and vegemite. Australia for the win! Douze points!

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Heather Wallace

Heather’s career in arts and heritage PR spans 15 years, with highlights including working for Sean Connery at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and promoting Australia’s World Heritage places. Her blog, Myths and Misadventures, (http://mythsandmisadventures.blogspot.com.au/), is about life lessons we can learn from the Romans. You can follow her on Twitter @Missmythology. More about the Author

  • Laarni

    Laughed my way through this article! Thanks, Heather. I’m not a huge Eurovision fan as you are but I think you’re going to turn me into one! I’ll get up at the crack of dawn like I usually do (hey, I have a toddler) and have my croissants whilst cheering on Isaiah!