In the fluorescent light of a suburban kitchen, Honey Nut Cheerios are heaped into a bowl; sound-insulating snow piled up to the windowsills outside makes the trinkling of cereal against ceramic seem so loud that the mom pouring them worries it’ll wake the kids.
Hours later, thousands of miles away, within earshot of pounding surf, there is the dull thud of an oxidized machete meeting a tamarind cutting board; having already split a pineapple, it gets to work cutting it into golden half suns. And later still, in a hotel on the white-sand beaches of the north coast of Jamaica, a cook cracks open a food-service can of ackee and heaps its creamy white flesh into a pan—the tourists are leaning heavy on the “local” stuff this humid morning.
It is 8 a.m. in a lot of somewheres right now. Maybe not wherever you’re reading this, but all the time, every day, people are eating breakfast. How are they breaking that fast? What are they eating? Why?
That’s what this little breadbasket of stories aims to answer. Herein you’ll find a time-zone-by-time-zone survey of people’s first meals of the day. A few zones are unrepresented; we didn’t know whom to call about breakfast in the Seychelles. The idea was to choose one location in each time zone, so we’ve got Rwanda instead of Vienna, spiritual and factual home of laminated pastries and ancestral birthplace of the Croissan’wich you ate at Burger King this morning.
So it goes. The best thing about breakfast is that if you live through today, you can try a new one tomorrow.