Thursday 20 May 2010

Hungary 2: Quite Continental

"That's not a continental breakfast..."

As I was growing up in rural Western Australia, occasionally travelling with my family and staying in motels, I became accustomed to the idea that a "continental breakfast" was inherently disappointing.

To the average Australian motelier, the continental breakfast consisted of a tiny cardboard box of corn flakes with some milk, along with two thin slices of toasted white bread with jam from a little sachet. If you were lucky, there might be a sachet of Vegemite as well.

Which is why it came as a pleasant surprise to finally travel in Europe and discover what a true continental breakfast was about.

To illustrate, let me take you on a tour of the breakfast board at the Hotel Korona in the city of Szeged in southern Hungary, where we recently stayed (and heartily breakfasted)...

1. An overview of the main table. As you can see, a visually pleasing spread of foodstuffs, with some nice colour variation.

2. What's this? Crisp vegetables for brekkie? Yes, it's a plate of the nicely crunchy zöldpaprika, a milder version of its spicy cousin.

3. Salami, of course, as Szeged is famous as the home of Pick Salami. If you look closely, you'll see there are two types, of slightly different colour.

4. Little warmed-up white rolls to go with the meal, with a couple of other bread varieties just off-camera.

5. Sausages and mustard. Well, it is Central Europe.

6. A tray of fried eggs with ham embedded in them.

7. Wait, what's this? Two varieties of scrambled eggs!

8. And a little parmesan cheese and a shaker of ground paprika to pep them up.

9. Crikey! There's a second table with cereals and juice!

10. Here's a bowl of some sort of berry compote to ladle on the cereal.

11. And percolated coffee. Oh well, there had to be a flaw somewhere.

12. Finally, a little shaker of powdered chocolate. Not sure what it's for, nor what you should add it to, but here it is in case you need it. Thoughtful.

"... this is a continental breakfast!" (with apologies to Crocodile Dundee)


  1. I wonder what continent those Australian motels are referring to...

    I'm curious, what was in those two varieties of scrambled eggs?

  2. Some sort of Lost Continent, I assume; one in which the inhabitants died of starvation.

    Re the eggs, from memory I think one lot had dried parsley on it, and the other had paprika (pretty safe bet in Hungary).

  3. Its one of the things I loved in Austria - filling up on fresh rolls, cold meat and cheese at breakfast time and not needing to eat a thing until dinner time.

    Yum, just looking at that spread makes me feel hungry