Continental Breakfast

Another post by Glenn:

So I was recently at a conference in Greensboro, NC, at a large hotel with an overpriced restaurant, a lot of handouts, and 200 geeky educators (myself included) in an expansive conference room. The organization hosting the conference provided a “Continental Breakfast”, which seemed to be greatly appreciated by the participants. [Side note: all educators, regardless of status or position, have a tendency to get really excited about free food.]

Which leads to the crux of this pondering – what is meant exactly by the reference to the generic “continent“ in the term “Continental Breakfast“? I would be very curious to learn where in the world it is that breakfast consists of the items typically associated with the ever-present “Continental Breakfast” . Let’s take a moment to consider our seven continents.

Australia – Per the undeniably authoritative and reliable internet source “Wikipedia“, the typical breakfast in the bush does not include pastries and muffins. Bogong moths, yes, but nothing else that sounded very appetizing.

Europe – I’m sure I could find pastries and muffins in Europe, but there are so many other distinctive foods in this diverse continent that the Sheraton’s spread could not possibly represent European cuisine as a whole.

Asia – I’m thinking “no“.

Africa – See Australia (above).

Antarctica – Everything in my breakfast was room temperature or warm, so this can’t be the source.

South America – Based on my personal recollections of breakfast in Brazil, an authentic South American breakfast would need some sort of protein (meat, eggs, beans, etc.), which removes it from the running in this particular inquiry.

North America – This may be the most logical of our seven continents, as this is a rather common breakfast at conferences and basic-tier hotels.

So why “continental”? Why not call it “North American Breakfast“, “Partially Representative European Breakfast“ or “Conference and Basic-Tier Hotel-al Breakfast”? I mean, let’s call it what it is, whatever that happens to be.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are now looking for the moral. Except for a possible reflection upon the unsubstantiated availability of jam and butter to add to pre-sweetened muffins and pastries in this particular buffet, there is none.

However, if any readers have insight as to the origin of the food served at Taco Bell, I would like some clarity on that one too…


2 thoughts on “Continental Breakfast

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