MUNDANE MYSTERY: What Makes A Continental Breakfast… Continental?


MUNDANE MYSTERY: What Makes A Continental Breakfast… Continental?

This is one I’ve wondered about for a long time. We’ve all been to a hotel where you’re treated to a complimentary Continental Breakfast to start your day. But where did it actually come from?


Here is what had to say…

The term “continental breakfast” actually  originated in Britain in the mid-19th century. There, the phrase “the continent” refers to the countries occupying the mainland of Europe. Therefore, a “continental breakfast” denotes the type of breakfast you’d be served in places like France or Italy.

Breakfasts in these countries are famously light and delicate when compared to the full English breakfast — a heaping plate of sausage, beans, toasts, eggs and more — or an American breakfast — usually some combination of sausages, bacon, pancakes, waffles, potatoes, and toast.

As the nation grew and hotels popped up around the country, hoteliers were pleased to offer a lighter alternative to the traditional American breakfast. Not only did it please European tourists, but it was cheaper and easier to produce and staff.

And that’s how the standard hotel breakfast became the simple pastries, breads, fruits, and coffee spread we know today.

Interesting. This totally makes more sense now. I do love starting my day with a tasty Continental Breakfast when I’ve traveling. Can’t have a heavy breakfast weighing you down all day. Give me that yogurt, fruit, coffee, and scone!


Photo credit: Getty Images