breakfaast bagelI love breakfast.

I don’t just like it. I love it, and there’s nothing quite like Kettleman’s Bagel Co. around breakfast time. Those fresh, Montreal style bagels, just out of our wood burning oven and topped off with a schmear. You’ve got the makings of a very good day right there. Breakfast is something most of us just take for granted, but did you know it didn’t always exist? A horrific thought, right? I know, but it’s actually true.

Breakfast…Where Did it Come From, Anyway?

History doesn’t have a lot to say about breakfast before the middle ages. The Romans didn’t practice it. They were of the belief that people should only eat one meal a day. They believed that eating more than this would negatively affect the digestive system, and they viewed it as gluttony. On the rare occasion that breakfast was eaten, (probably during some sort of hedonistic gluttony-fest) it included spiced wine, breads, cheeses, and pulmentus, a type of porridge. Hmmm. Sounds like gluttony wasn’t so bad. This sounds like Sunday brunch to me.

During the Middle Ages, the term breakfast was born, literally meaning, “breaking the fast.” It wasn’t considered an important or even necessary meal, however, and was most often only eaten by children, the elderly, and the sick. This was mainly due to religious rituals, which forbade eating anything before mass and eating meat for more than half the days of the year. It was considered a sign of weakness and of being poor to eat anything before the midday meal.

There were exceptions during this time; farmers and laborers were allowed to eat breakfast, as they needed the energy the food provided in order to accomplish their work throughout the day. Noble travelers were also granted exception. The morning meals rarely consisted of meat, however, and were generally made up of bread, cheese, and low alcohol-content beers or wines. So, from the looks of things, you either did not eat in the morning at all OR you got to eat and drink alcohol. I think “noble traveler” would be right there on my job description.

Everything began to change in the 1500s. Nobility began to make breakfast a common practice, with meals often including meat and caffeinated beverages. Now we’re talking! Coffee and tea where thought to aid in the evacuation of superfluities, and were an acceptable part of the morning ritual.

The Bagel’s Place in History

It should come as no surprise that almost as soon as breakfast became an acceptable and popular practice, the bagel was born. It was actually created in 1610 in Krakow, Poland as an alternative to obwarzariek, a wheat flour bread intended for Lent. Over the next few centuries it became a staple in the Polish and Slavic diet. In the 19th century, the bagel’s fame spread to other countries around the world.

Bagels: The Breakfast of Champions

While today’s breakfast consists of a variety of choices, bagels are still a favorite among many individuals around the world. In fact, some of your favorite celebrities are regularly sighted ordering this tasty bread, like:

  • Cher
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Kevin Bacon
  • Jennifer Gardner
  • Katie Holmes (and her daughter Suri)
  • Halie Berry
  • Ben Stiller
  • Michael J. Fox

So, what are you going to choose for breakfast today? At Kettleman’s Bagel Co., we have the best bagels in the city, but we also offer a variety of other choices, like breakfast sandwiches, breakfast boxes, and breakfast loaves. Celebrate your morning meal with us. Stop on by and discover a new and tasty way to break your fast.

If your looking for breakfast catering in Ottawa, we’ve got you covered for that too! (If I’ve just made you as hungry as I’ve made myself, Kettleman’s is open 24 hours. I’ll meet you there.)