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Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch eaten usually during the late morning but it can extend to as late as 3 pm. The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch. Brunch originated in England in the late 1800s, served in a buffet style manner, and became popular in the United States in the 1930s.
Origin of the word
The 1896 supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary cites Punch magazine which wrote that the term was coined in Britain in 1895 to describe a Sunday meal for "Saturday-night carousers" in the writer Guy Beringer's article "Brunch: A Plea" in Hunter's Weekly'
Instead of England's early Sunday dinner, a postchurch ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, why not a new meal, served around noon, that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare? By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. "Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting." Beringer wrote. "It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week."
— William Grimes, "At Brunch, The More Bizarre The Better" New York Times, 1998
It is sometimes credited to reporter Frank Ward O'Malley who wrote for the New York newspaper The Sun from 1906 until 1919, allegedly based on the typical mid-day eating habits of a newspaper reporter.
At colleges and hostels
Some colleges and hostels serve brunch, especially on Sundays and holidays. Such brunches are often serve-yourself buffets, but menu-ordered meals may be available instead of, or with, the buffet. The meal usually involves standard breakfast foods such as eggs, sausages, bacon, ham, fruits, pastries, pancakes, and the like.
The United States military often serves weekend brunch in the dining facilities. They offer both breakfast and lunch options and are open from about 0900-1300 (though times vary).
Dim sum brunch
The dim sum brunch is popular in Chinese restaurants worldwide. It consists of a variety of stuffed buns, dumplings, and other savory or sweet food items that have been steamed, deep-fried, or baked. Customers pick small portions from passing carts, as the kitchen continuously produces and sends out more freshly prepared dishes. Dim sum is usually eaten at a mid-morning, midday, or mid-afternoon teatime.
In other languages
The Office québécois de la langue française accepts "brunch" as a valid word but also provides a synonym déjeuner-buffet. Note that, however, in Quebec, déjeuner alone (even without the qualifying adjective petit) means "breakfast". In Quebec, the word—when Francized—is pronounced [bʁɔ̃ʃ].
In other cities
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
'Friday Brunch' is considered something of an institution in Dubai. Many large hotels and restaurants offer an all inclusive drinks and food buffet during early afternoons, and large groups of expatriates and tourists make this the highlight of their weekend, with parties going on well into the night.
In many regions of Canada, in particular in Southern Ontario, brunch is popular on Sundays when families will often host relatives or friends in their dining room. The typical brunch can last a few hours and go late into the afternoon. Montreal-style bagels may be served alongside egg dishes, waffles or crepes, smoked meat or fish, fruit, salads, cheese, and dessert. Often, champagne or wine will be served and following the meal tea or coffee is usually consumed.
Many restaurants offer brunch service as well, and the Leslieville neighbourhood of Toronto is sometimes called the brunch capital of Toronto as many renowned establishments serve brunch in that neighbourhood.
- Palmatier, Robert Alan (2000). Food: A Dictionary of Literal and Nonliteral Terms. Greenwood Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-0313314360.
- "brunch (meal)". Memidex/WordNet Dictionary. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- "foodnetwork". Web.foodnetwork.com. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- Rombauer, Irma S.; Becker, Marion Rombauer; Becker, Ethan (2001). Joy of Cooking: All About Breakfast and Brunch. Simon and Schuster. p. 8. ISBN 0743206428.
- Gold, David L. (2009). Studies in etymology and etiology. Universidad de Alicante. p. 99. ISBN 978-84-7908-517-9.
- Merriam-Webster's, Inc. (1994). Merriam-Webster's dictionary of English usage. Merrriam Webster. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-87779-132-4.
- Grimes, William (8 July 1998). "At Brunch, The More Bizarre The Better". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- "The Press: O'Malley of the Sun". Time Magazine. 31 October 1932. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
- "As to who coined the word brunch, that, too, is unclear. According to an American Dialect Society site, Frank Ward O'Malley, an old style reporter with the New York Morning Sun (1906–1919), was the first to use "brunch" to describe the morning newspaper man's breakfast-luncheon combination." Mother's Day and the history of "Brunch" – Thousands of Ontarians take their mothers to brunch on Mother's Day Travel TV
- Pietrusza, David Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Google Books link 2007
- "Dim Sum – History, Pictures, Recipes of Chinese Dim Sum". Chinesefood.about.com. 13 July 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- Office de la langue française, 1999, 'Le Grand Dictionnaire, entry "Brunch": "Repas combinant le petit déjeuner et le repas du midi, et habituellement constitué d'un buffet". (A meal that combines the breakfast and lunch and usually consists of a buffet.)
- La Petite Larousse (2009), p. 140
- de:Brunch Deutsch Wiki entry on "brunch"
- "Dubai's Outlandish Brunch Culture". Huffington Post. 9 February 2013.
- "Bonjour Brioche in Leslieville - My Destination Toronto". Mydestination.com. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
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