Britons are insisting one item doesn’t belong in the traditional full English
To hash brown or not to hash brown? That is the question – but according to the English Breakfast Society, it’s no question that the beloved fried potato does not “belong” to a full English breakfast.
The group, which describes itself as a “learned society dedicated to the tradition of the English breakfast”, has definitively declared that hash browns should be barred from the plate and are calling for the return of bubble and squeak.
It lists bubble and squeak as part of the “common” full English breakfast, alongside back bacon, eggs, British sausage, baked beans, fried tomato, fried mushrooms, black pudding, and fried and toasted bread.
Guise Bule de Missenden, founder of the English Breakfast Society, told The Times: “Somebody had to put their foot down.
“Otherwise we’ll find kebab meat in our English breakfast before long. The hash brown – the reconstituted, tater-based fast food – was popularised by McDonald’s but somehow we now find it in our English breakfast.”
He continued: “We’re all about bringing back the bubble. That’s the reason we’re saying no to hash browns. Hashtag, bring back the bubble.”
Bubble and squeak is a usually mixture of mashed potatoes and cabbage that is mixed together and then fried. It may vary with the addition of other vegetables.
The organisation condemned hash browns in a strongly worded tweet earlier last week, writing: “[Public service announcement]: The frozen hash brown was popularised by McDonald’s.
“Serving them to customers in your English breakfast as a lazy replacement for bubble and squeak signals your lack of respect for the tradition, your customers, and your country. Do better.”
In the comments, diners were divided, with some defending the honour of crunchy hash browns and others agreeing wholeheartedly with the campaign.
PSA: The frozen hash brown was popularised by McDonalds. Serving them to customers in your English breakfast as a lazy replacement for bubble & squeak signals your lack of respect for the tradition, your customers, and your country. Do better. #BringBackTheBubble pic.twitter.com/QjROxuTY25
— English Breakfast Society (@FryUpSociety) March 26, 2023
“I’m English and I like hash browns and hate bubble and squeak. There, I’ve said it. Out and proud!” one person wrote.
Another said: “I’m not sure it’s that simple. The problem you can’t ignore is that frozen hash browns, when cooked properly, are delicious and a perfect accompaniment. Most cafes will offer hash browns these days. Are they really a no?”
However, among those cheering on bubble and squeak, one person said that the alternative form of fried potato should “always appear as an option on an English breakfast menu”.
Meanwhile, journalist Ken Goodwin said: “Bubble with an egg on top is a meal in itself. Good way to get kids to eat ‘hidden’ sprouts and/or cabbage too.”
But a 2017 YouGov poll revealed that hash browns are an important part of the full English for 60 per cent of Britons – while black pudding was the least, with only 35 per cent choosing it as part of their “ideal” breakfast.