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The word ‘brunch’ is a combination of breakfast and lunch, and it’s eaten between breakfast and lunch time. Some define it as a late breakfast, or early lunch. It first appeared towards the end of the 19th century in England and seems to have been born from the British upper classes. On Sundays wealthy families would give their servants a day off, after getting them to prepare a buffet style meal which their employers could then eat from for the rest of the day.
In the ‘Fashionable and Seasonable” section of the satirical Punch magazine in an edition from 1896, the following comment is made about brunch.
“To be fashionable nowadays we must “brunch”. Truly an excellent portmanteau word, introduced, by the way, last year, by Mr. Guy Beringer in the now defunct Hunter’s Weekly, and indicating a combined breakfast and lunch. At Oxford, however, two years ago, an important distinction was drawn, The combination-meal, when nearer the usual breakfast hour, is “brunch”, and, nearer luncheon is “blunch”. Please don’t forget this.”
Nowadays the brunch is usually associated with the weekend, perhaps because these are the days in which one can sleep a little longer, and is usually served between 10 am and 5 pm, depending on the city and the restaurant.
Personally, what particularly draws my attention to brunch is that the timing of it is so flexible and you can mix up sweet and savoury. Brunch lovers also swear by it as a hangover cure. On the one hand, greasy food can help speed up the body’s absorption of alcohol and on the other hand the consumption of more alcohol reduces the effects of alcohol abstinence.
In fact, a brunch is often accompanied by alcoholic drinks such as Mimosas (prosecco with orange juice), Bellinis (prosecco with peach juice), or Bloody Marys (vodka, tomato juice, spices, lemon juice, olives and celery).
A Taste of Home has a great article on How to Host a Stress Free Brunch Party HERE.
Brunch is a relaxed meal for the cook, with plenty of options for make-ahead dishes like casseroles with bacon, eggs, and potatoes, and sweet rolls glazed with lemon.
This Cheesy Sausage and Croissant Casserole is rich, delicious, and worthy of a special holiday breakfast, but you don’t need to wait for a houseful of company to prepare it. Gruyère cheese browns beautifully and adds a nutty flavor to the dish. You can sub Swiss cheese if you prefer.
“Brunch, for me,is an extended breakfast that should be enjoyed whenever you have time properly to engage in cooking and eating.”
~ Yotam Ottolenghi