Have you ever been like me, wondering how the origin of breakfast? Breakfast is something I do regularly, and I thought for sure that our ancestors also had breakfast when they came into this world.
But it wasn’t. According to the little research that I did, breakfast is a habit that is formed along with the development of civilization.
Breakfast in the stone age
Has breakfast been known as a habit since our ancestors first came into this world? In my opinion, no, routinely eating in the morning is not a tradition that was carried out by humans in the early days.
Long before the present time, ancient humans used to live in an era called the old stone age (paleolithic). They get their food by hunting and gathering. Men are in charge of hunting animals, and women are in charge of gathering food from nature such as fruit, leaves, tubers, and nuts.
Their lives are very dependent on the natural resources available around them. That’s why they live nomadic (move around). If game and food in a place are running low, they move to find new areas rich in animals and food.
I’m sure they didn’t know breakfast at that time. Because it’s clear they don’t know how to raise livestock, grow crops, and store food.
Breakfast in the ancient kingdom
No breakfast before food storage period. Paleolithic days began with hunting and gathering, then processing the food obtained, then eating it. So it continues every day.
Occasionally they could have breakfast with a leftover menu from the previous day. For example, the meat of animals eaten at night is still left, then the next morning it is eaten. But that seems rare, and so they don’t know breakfast as a habit yet.
It was only when humans began to know how to store food so that it lasts for a long time, they began to recognize breakfast as a daily eating habit. Because they already have food supplies, humans can begin to plan what to eat tomorrow.
They need breakfast because they work hard everyday, hunting and gathering requires great physical strength. Also after getting to know how to raise and grow crops. Their work was still hard, at that time the equipment was still very simple and the environment was still difficult with the disturbance of wild animals, enemies and the harshness of nature.
I think, the breakfast menu at that time was still simple too. Their culinary level is still in a modest stage. Cultural acculturation that affects culinary also has not or has not happened much.
Breakfast in ancient Egypt
The earliest record of breakfast comes from Egypt. The Egyptian pharaohs employed court officials who had the title Overseer of the King’s Breakfast. The word used for the word wondering breakfast is ja.w-r’ which means cleaning the mouth. The menu is usually bread soaked in wine.
Bread and wine are examples of simple identification of ancient breakfast menus, generally consisting of foods that are easy and quick to prepare. The ingredients are usually from long-lasting food ingredients stored or leftovers from yesterday’s dinner.
As technology, knowledge, experience, and cultural acculturation develop, breakfast menus are increasingly diverse. Look at today, we in here can have Japanese, Arabic, English or American breakfast. Because food storage techniques are so advanced, as well as easier distribution, it is possible for us to get food from all over the world wondering.
However, every region, every country, still has its own breakfast characteristics.