Saturday, September 3, 2016

English Breakfasts

We're not really super early morning people on vacation, so breakfast for us is often just something quick in the hotel. By that, I mean something from the grocery store, like cereal bars or bananas, not room service. Although we did consider getting up early one day in London to go for a proper English breakfast, that didn't happen before the end of our trip. But we did sample a bunch of different breakfast items from the grocery store that we don't have at home.

On our visit to Waitrose on our first day in London, we picked up these Frusli bars in blueberry flavor. Out of the 2 different styles of bars that we bought, these were the ones we liked better, although they weren't that filling. The funny part to us was that this was a blueberry flavored bar, but dried blueberries themselves were much further down the ingredient list than blueberry infused dried cranberries, raisins, and fruit puree pieces (apple and blueberry). Probably a cost issue, but kind of amusing, as we considered whether it should have just been called a berry flavored bar instead. Along with all of the various fruits, there were oats, sugar, honey, a couple of different flours, and almonds. The fact that there were no ingredients in the list whose names we didn't recognize and there weren't any additives on the list is probably part of the reason we liked it, and that really came through with how healthy and natural they tasted. We also liked the texture, nice and chewy.

A couple of days later, we picked up some cheaper breakfast bars at the Morrisons grocery store downstairs from our hotel. There was a sale on these Alpen Light bars so we got 2 flavors - double chocolate and Jaffa cake. We didn't know what Jaffa cake was but guessed it was something orange and chocolate because of the box design (it pretty much was).

We didn't think these bars were as good as the Frusli bars. They were like very light granola bars, and reminded me a bit of Special K bars in how light they were. The first flavor we tried was the Jaffa cake, which we thought was okay and which A liked more than I did. They were sort of orange flavored, but mostly just tasted like artificial citrus, which is one of the things that usually turns me off of lemon and orange flavored things. The double chocolate just tasted like a standard chocolate breakfast bar, and we both liked that much more than the Jaffa cake one.

Later in the trip, we also decided to investigate some yogurts for breakfast, hoping that the active cultures would help since our systems were a little off from the traveling, the rough exhaustion from the first day, and some overindulgent eating. From the setup of the grocery stores, we concluded that the English love yogurt. One store even had an entire aisle of just yogurt. We like yogurt, so we thought that was pretty awesome. Since our hotel didn't have a refrigerator, A had to drop by Morrisons in the mornings to buy yogurt for breakfast. Thankfully it was just downstairs and close to a coffee shop for his morning coffee as well. The first one we got was this store-brand raspberry, blueberry, and cranberry bio yogurt. (Bio yogurt is supposed to have additional good bacteria added.) This seemed like pretty standard berry flavored yogurt, and A got a couple of blueberries here and there. This was fine, like yogurt we could get at home, but we were eating more for the gut benefit.

On another day, we really wanted to try to right our systems with yogurt, so A picked up 2 different Onken ones for breakfast. These seemed a bit like premium yogurts, a step up from your basic yogurt. One was apricot with whole grains, and the other was cherry. We thought both of these were better than the yogurt we had previously, but they were also more expensive so I guess we paid for that improvement. The apricot whole grain yogurt was different from other yogurt we've had since the whole grains were like little chewy bits inside the yogurt. I didn't like that one as much as the cherry one, which had big juicy cherries in it and tons of fruit flavor.

We ate some other stuff for breakfast too, like some bananas that we picked up on a Sainsbury's trip and also some potato chips once we ran out of breakfast bars (not ideal, but didn't want to buy more bars for just one day). In addition to being more convenient and cheaper than eating breakfast out, buying breakfast to eat in the room gives us a good excuse to explore local grocery stores and try local products. We were pretty happy with the results of our London breakfast exploration!

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