Italian Breakfast: how to start the day the Italian way
If you're curious to know what is a typical Italian breakfast, brace yourself, because Italian breakfast is mostly a sweet breakfast! The reason why most of Italians have this kind of breakfast is that sugar increase energy levels, so eating something sweet in the morning helps them get energized. It is not by chance that the most famous Italian breakfast are based on coffee plus a sweet that can be an Italian brioche, bread butter and jam or yogurt with honey. There are, however, some exceptions: some people prefer having a savory breakfast with ham and cheese toast or even egg frittata!
Italian coffee, the king of breakfast
Italians cannot start their day without coffee, that is a fact! We all feel better when we open our eyes in the morning, the coffee machine in the kitchen is mumbling and our house smells like coffee. Apart from smelling amazing, coffee also contains caffeine that help you feel less tired and more alert, improve your mood and brain function and works like an alarm clock. The Italian coffee par excellence is espresso: short, intense and a real boost of energy. If you're not a big fan of espresso, don't worry, because traditional Italian breakfast boats different types of coffee drinks like cappuccino, caffè macchiato, iced coffee and the list can go on and on.
Italian brioche, the breakfast at the bar
A lot of Italians like to start their day at a cafe, that in Italy is more commonly called bar: a place where people consume a quick breakfast, have a chat with friends and a look at the newspaper. In all Italian bars you can find every morning different types of coffee and freshly made sweet pastries such as cornetti, Italian brioche and other delicacies. Speaking of cornetti, many people often confuse them with croissant or brioche but there are some differences! Brioche is a sweet, soft and pillowy pastry made with lots of eggs and butter like the typical Sicilian brioche, while Italian cornetto is more similar to the French croissant, but contains eggs and has more sugar in the dough. All these delicacies can be filled with the cream you like the most: pistachio, jam, marmalade or custard are just a few.
Bread butter and jam, a timeless breakfast
Bread, butter and jam is a classic Italian breakfast perfect to be eaten at home. Everybody in Italy usually have some stale bread, jam and butter in their pantries. This trio is an excellent burst of energy to start your day, just remember to use a small amount of butter and to choose genuine homemade jams or marmalades. Try it also replacing bread with fette biscottate: a typical Italian fragrant twice-baked bread with a sweet flavor and crisp texture that makes a delicious base to accompany your favorite toppings and spreads. Both bread, butter and jam or fette biscottate can be used also for merenda or for a quick snack!
Italian biscuits, the ordinary breakfast
If you've never been to an Italian supermarket, you would be surprised by the quantity of biscuits lined up in the shelves. Italian biscuits pair perfectly with espresso and caffelatte - a drink made with espresso and steamed milk - for a satisfying and simple breakfast and exist in every shapes, flavors, colors and weights. Not surprisingly, Italy is biscuits' birthplace: it's since the Roman ages that slices of bread cooked twice called "bis-cooked" were distributed before battles. Italian eat biscuits especially in the morning with milk or coffee: for an Italian breakfast on the go, pair a simple espresso with crunchy cookies, like tricotti or gallette. If you have some time instead, have a sit and enjoy dipping them in your milk and coffee.
Yogurt and honey, the healthy breakfast
Italians love to have breakfast with yogurt and honey: it's a quick, highly satiating and healthy breakfast. The benefits of yogurt are indeed countless: it's rich in probiotics that boost your immune system, it helps prevent digestive problems and it's a real cure-all! To be even more healthy, you may choose low-fat yogurts, add some seasonal fruit and the magic ingredient: honey! Italian honey , among all kind of honey, is a special one for two reasons. First, Italian honey bees are the best bees at selecting good flowers. Second, Italy offers a huge amounts of microclimates and biodiversity that allows the hives to be put out to pasture at a great variety of altitudes and for very different periods, thus boasting different varieties of honey.
Savory breakfast ideas to change your habits
Even though Italian breakfast is mostly a sweet breakfast, there are some exceptions! A small percentage of Italians just don't like sweets for breakfast and prefer savory breakfast ideas like ham and cheese toast or egg frittata. Ham and cheese toast is as simple as drinking a glass of water: you just need to choose some good quality Italian ham and cheese to put in your toast and the game is made. As for frittata, it can be simply made with eggs and the leftovers from the night before! Wanna know a fun fact? In Liguria, some people use to have a savory breakfast with focaccia bread dipped in cappuccino. Sometimes it's quite difficult also for other Italians to understand this habit and they might look at you as if you came from Mars, but the truth is that there's a secret to avoid your cappuccino to become oily: you need to calibrate the right duration of the dipping which must neither be too long to excessively soak the focaccia, but not too short either. Whether you are a sweet or savory lover, you can't give up Italian breakfast!