You’ll Be Surprised What People Eat for Breakfast Around the World

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Sweden
> Sample breakfast dish: Open-faced sandwiches

The most common Swedish breakfast is centered around one or more smörgåsar, or open-faced sandwiches (a smörgåsbord is literally a sandwich table). Typical toppings, besides butter and cheese, might include some combination of liver pâté, cold cuts, pickles, cucumber, and/or bell pepper.

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Turkey
> Sample breakfast dish: Flatbread, cheese, olives, tomatoes, etc.

As elsewhere in the eastern Mediterranean, breakfast in Turkey tends to include lots of small plates filled with foods to be eaten in various combinations. Bread — often simit, ring-shaped rolls covered with sesame seeds — is a given, and there are nearly always cheese, eggs in some form, olives, tomato wedges, cucumber slices, either jam or honey (or both), and tea. Spicy sausage is often added.

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Egypt
> Sample breakfast dish: Stewed fava beans

Considered Egypt’s national dish, ful medames consists of stewed fava beans (usually reconstituted dried brown ones) mashed with olive oil, lemon juice, and cumin. Though it is eaten at other times of day, it is considered a breakfast basic, sometimes topped with chopped hard-boiled eggs.

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Iran
> Sample breakfast dish: Wheat mixed with meat

A traditional Iranian dish usually served for breakfast, haleem (or halim) is a kind of porridge made with pelted wheat (with the bran removed but the germ intact) or sometimes barley, mixed with long-cooked lamb or other meat or poultry. It may be enhanced with cinnamon, sugar, and melted butter.

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Lebanon
> Sample breakfast dish: Flatbread with herbs and spices

Za’atar man’ouche is a simple flatbread generously topped with olive oil and the herb mixture called za’atar — traditionally a blend of a Middle Eastern thyme- or oregano-like herb with dried sumac, sesame seeds, and salt, though other herbs and spices are sometimes included. The bread is considered an ideal way to start the day because za’atar contains magnesium, iron, and other nutrients.