brunch is the greatest meal of our time: an argument

I was tempted to add brunch to my “DESPITE EVERYTHING” Aughts List of Thanks, but didn’t. Certainly this past decade saw my first forays into the wonderful world of brunch — but that may be entirely because I also (a) learned to drive, (b) got my own bank account, and (c) lived away from home this decade. Perhaps all of you put your fourth-grade allowance to a steaming plate of Eggs Benedict in town every Sunday morning, but I assure you I did not. (I was too busy making friendship bracelets and inventing new mnemonic devices to remember the planets in order. Back when they included Pluto. It was a heady year.)

The term “brunch” entered the English lexicon in the late nineteenth century with an absolutely prescient article (“Brunch: A Plea” — how perfect!) in an 1895 issue of the British magazine Hunter’s Weekly. In it, one Guy Beringer extolled the virtues of brunch, ie that a late-morning, breakfast-lunch composite would allow you to stay up later and get drunker on Saturday night. An article in Punch the following year affirmed, “To be fashionable nowadays we must ‘brunch’.” And indeed we must!

But when did brunch — brunch as an institution — really take off? I’m stubbornly sticking to this decade. Maybe I just watch too much Sex and the City (brunchaholics, the lot of them), but does anyone remember brunch in the 90s? Does anyone remember anything from the 90s besides MC Hammer pants and butterfly clips?

Regardless of when it started, brunch has become the greatest meal of our time. It can offer a complete nutritional and tasting experience, featuring not only meats, fruits, vegetables, and breads, but also tickling your sweet and savory taste buds. It’s also the only time when ordering a giant stack of chocolate-studded cookies pancakes as a meal is officially okay. Pancakes with champagne mimosas! Brunch keeps you (me, you, anyone) handily full until dinnertime, it is a naturally lazy affair, and, to conclude, I will leave you with this image,

this description,

and the name Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Brunch is my FAVORITE, favorite meal of the day. back in my college days (so, so, long ago) my sasha and I would meet at Silver Spurs (I love me a diner brunch, I can’t help it!) and sit over omelets and sweet potato fries until we had to go do work or run off to something else. on the best weeks this happened friday, saturday and sunday morning. In the city I’m a fan of Silver Spurs (B’way and 8th, and Houston and Laf.) and Henrys, 105th and B’way. I feel my life on Long Island lacks brunch..though I do make midday pancakes, french toast, omelets and fried eggs a lot, this sounds like a good search for lovely!

    Ah, brunch, thank you Nat for making me think of it..

    xx, jenny


  2. Posted by redchiffonskirt on January 7, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    sadly, brunch… doesn’t exist in korea. “breakfast” is just another meal with the same kinds of food as all the other meals. as much as i love bulgogki and kimchi, i’d rather not be eating it for breakfast!!!

    i bought pancake mix yesterday though, so fingers crossed that it tastes somewhat delicious =)

    i love eating vicariously through your blog!


    • Posted by iowasthinking on January 7, 2010 at 11:52 pm

      Pancake mix! What a find! You should cut up some bananas or sprinkle in some chocolate chips. Good to go. Can you find syrup, too? What about butter!? OMG.


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