The best meal of the day is undoubtedly breakfast. Though many people might disagree with this position, I stand by it, and I’ll tell you exactly why.
My mother grew up in France and left for the U.S to be an au pair nanny when she turned 22. The custom in her family was always to share the first meal of the day with her sisters and parents no matter the circumstances. Her breakfasts usually consisted of two slices of fresh baked baguette with a small spread of butter and some sort of homemade jelly. Before she discovered coffee, she paired her toast with a hot chocolate made of honey, milk, and cocoa powder. This is all just to say that breakfast for her was a very important part of her day. When she came to the U.S, her customary breakfast drastically changed. The bread she ate tasted nothing like the type from France — unsurprisingly — so as a last resort option she ate cereal. The foods she ate truly defined the kind of day she would have, though after a time cereal simply became the standard breakfast for her.
Now when I think about my family returning to France, my mouth immediately starts watering while I think about the delicious breakfasts we eat there. During our short vacations with our French family, the breakfast spread usually consists of croissants, pain-au-chocolats, coffee, tea, fresh fruit, and of course baguette, butter, homemade jelly. I think of hazelnut chocolate spread — not the nasty brand of Nutella, but the authentic kind unique to France. Breakfast usually lasts at least two hours as people slowly wake up. Though that may seem like a lot of time, we were all on vacation, so we had a lot of time to spare. As a kid, those breakfasts were the opportunity to load up on all the delicious sweets because I knew the next meal usually consisted of potatoes, green beans, and fish.
Though my current breakfasts pale in comparison to the fanciness of French cuisine, they are still sweet, tasty, and filling. In my dorm, I make a variety of different breakfasts because this is one meal I refuse to eat in the Caf. I usually make different flavored oatmeal, fruit smoothies, microwavable muffins, overnight oats, and more. All these options almost always include peanut butter or chocolate. However, the one thing that is missing from my breakfast is my family.
This is all just to say that breakfast is important to me, and it can be for you as well. It can push you to be creative with the foods you like and create lasting memories with the ones around you. For me, it’s the best because it brings back lovely memories from my childhood summer vacations in France and when breakfast hits — which it never fails to do because it’s the best — it makes my day all the better.
Mathilde Hardy is from Edina, Minn.
Her major is undeclared.