I was sitting at my desk thinking about how delicious it would be to put cut-up hot dogs in an omelet, when my boss turned to me and said, "You know what's really great is when you have leftover grilled hot dogs from the night before and you cut them up and put them in your eggs?" In that moment, I felt very validated not just at my choice of jobs, but at the notion that indeed, leftover grilled food is ideal for repurposing at breakfast. It's all very thrifty, smart, and waste not want not. It's a very American breakfast, I thought.
But what is a real American breakfast? I started wondering this. There are infinite varieties of America and Americans, and that is one of the greatest things about this nation. This is not about which of these subgroups of people enjoys the best breakfast in America (that'd be shrimp and grits), or the greatest breakfast restaurant in America (Waffle House), but rather what dish or assortment of dishes constitutes a truly American breakfast. So I asked Twitter, of course, and people had a lot to say, of course—much of it pretty similar.
Of the nearly 80 responses to my question, "What foods and drinks come to mind when you think of a truly American breakfast?"
43 invoked eggs of some sort
41 mentioned bacon
33 called out for coffee
22 cited orange juice
19 conjured up pancakes
15 said hash browns (with 5 additional mentions for some sort of potato with the format not specified, and 4 for fries/cottage fries/home fries)
15 included biscuits in their canon
13 times grits were a hit
9 tossed waffles on the pile
8 shouted out for sausage
Obviously this is in no way a definitive poll—just a self-selecting group of people who were willing to answer a poll about breakfast on Twitter—but I'm interested in the canon of foods we've come to associate with morning in America: Comforting, hearty, adaptable as heck, much like the people they feed. We may get more falutin as the day goes on but when we awake and start our day, filled with promise and possibility, these simple foods are the ones we choose to fuel us. And hot dog, is it nice that so many of us can agree on something.