It is early morning. You are hungover. The headache pounds at your door like the thumping bass from last night’s poorly selected nightclub. Your mouth is a sticky velcro pocket of regret. The sun, the evil sun who you could never hate more than in this moment, presses with divine and righteous indignation into your bloodshot eyes and demands that you face the day. As you lift your head from the nest you formed in a drunken stupor, you realize the source of your pain. It is so clear. So obvious. You have sinned. You have sinned and you must be saved. A tiny flutter of joy rises inside as the path to greasy, buttery salvation is revealed to you: the breakfast roll will save your soul.
The breakfast roll is truly the epitome of aggressive hangover cures, served conveniently as a breakfast “on-the-go.” It is, as all good things are, a gift given by God to the Irish. Put simply, the breakfast roll is a way to eat a full Irish breakfast in a bread roll.
While there are countless variations on the theme, the basic breakfast roll consists of: two sausages, two rashers, one slice each of black and white pudding, and a runny fried egg (or two) all placed inside a crusty white french baguette that has, of course, been liberally and gloriously buttered. The addition of ketchup and mysterious "brown sauce" are optional, but strongly encouraged. And just where would you find such a pious offering to the god of post-Dionysian suffering? Why, at the deli counter of any gas station in Ireland. Of course.
Enjoyed from the building site to the boardroom, the roll is such a staple of the Irish diet that there have even been songs composed to its glory. Songs which were No.1 in the Irish charts for six weeks. Songs which have been aired on Prime Time TV by the national broadcaster.
Known throughout the land as the ultimate hangover cure, the laborer’s essential start to the day, and the best breakfast available to those who may not be having lunch, the breakfast roll reminds us that we all suffer, that we are all human, and that we are all Irish—even those of us who are not. Each bite is a theophany to the uninitiated, a soothing ritual to the faithful. The cherubic crunch of the crust is a chorus of chubby seraphim, each winged angel proclaiming the glory of the empyrean pork that is being transported into your mouth. Your frail mortal body cries out in gratitude for this sacred and healing ambrosia. It is quite simply, a transcendence that has to be experienced to be believed.
By adding a steaming paper cup of breakfast tea, so full of sugar it could be syrup, the breakfast roll forms a complete week of meals. Or just enough to get through to lunch. For the particularly sinful who turn their backs on tea, you may indulge in some self-flagellation in the form of a cup of gas station coffee (a.k.a. The Worst Coffee). No good coffee. You do not deserve it. Not after last night.