Brunch: The second official meal of the day

Shaban Athuman/HERALD

Andrew Henderson

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is a phrase you might have heard from a parent, teacher or educational TV show when you were younger. Now the saying is only associated with a feeling of nostalgia and a tinge of regret.

While many herald breakfast as being the most important meal we eat, the fact is that as college students — and perhaps as professors and staff too — many of us do not have time to consume a wholesome or healthy breakfast.

Things are always moving so fast in the world of higher education that often times a granola bar or a blueberry Pop-Tart will be the only source of nutrients we get for several hours until our three consecutive classes let out on Tuesday. Where is our respite, our quiet time, our reflection or simply our opportunity to enjoy breakfast at a later, yet socially acceptable, time?

Brunch, an amalgamation of “breakfast” and “lunch,” offers us such an opportunity. Not to be confused with the unpopular “Lunfast” or “Blunch,” brunch is an event in mainstream culture that has been gaining more popularity in recent years.

A story published in the Washington Post by Roberto Ferdman and Christopher Ingraham highlighted how search interest for brunch has been growing steadily since 2004. They researched the story by examining search term numbers from Google Trends. They noted a spike in search terms related to brunch occured each spring during times that corresponded to Easter and Mother’s Day.

The phenomena of brunch, however, reaches far beyond 2004 and measurable Google Trends data. The term “brunch” first appeared in print in an 1895 “Hunter’s Weekly” article in the British magazine Punch, according to the Smithsonian.

The article, titled “Brunch: A Plea,” was written by British author Guy Beringer. In the article, Beringer offered a suggestion to the alternative of the “heavy, post-church Sunday meals” and instead give favor to a “lighter fare served late in the morning.”

“Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting,” Beringer wrote.

Beringer’s article enthusiastically pinpoints the benefits of brunch: it allows you to stay up later and drink more on Saturday night without having to worry about waking up early for breakfast the following Sunday morning.

“By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers,” Beringer wrote. “It would promote human happiness in other ways as well.”

As I began to learn the historical and cultural intricacies of a meal that is essentially the twilight between breakfast and lunch, I knew that to fully immerse myself in this cultural event, I had to experience it for myself.

While brunch is often held on Sundays beginning around 11 a.m. and might involve a Bloody Mary or mimosa cocktail as the drink of choice, I had a deadline to adhere to and a legal drinking age holding me back.

On the morning of Feb. 10, I traveled to Wild Eggs to have brunch. I arrived there at approximately 10 a.m., which is a little early for brunch but also later than breakfast may sometimes be devoured.

There were 16 other people sparsely filling the room. Roughly three or four families and a handful of individuals were all seated intermittently throughout the restaurant. By no means was it hectic, but it was inhabited enough to be peaceful.

Photos of eggs in different positions lined the room. One picture was of an egg inside a hollow avocado. Turns out Wild Eggs really likes to play on the theme of eggs in their interior decorating, but I digress.

My order consisted of a Wild Berry Mocha and an omelette with Swiss cheese, chicken, ham, spinach, tomato and mushrooms. It also came with skillet potatoes and the restaurant’s signature Everything Muffin.

While I was keenly aware of my deadline and upcoming classes, the timing and meal associated with this brunch offered me an opportune time to slow down and reflect. While I had not engaged in carousing the previous night as Beringer might have wished, brunch for me stirred a new level of human happiness.

College is a whirlwind of many events mushed into what’s supposed to be a four-year journey, so take time out of your days to go to brunch or maybe even “brinner,” a topic for a different day. 

The point is you should go and eat an omelette the size of your hand and drink coffee with mixed berries — not just because it’s brunch, but because some days you need to slow down and reflect on the improbability of everything that is your existence.