The traditional English breakfast – a staple of many pub and restaurant menus – could die out within a generation, it has been claimed.
That’s because new research has revealed that as many as 17% of under 30s in Britain have never eaten a fry-up.
According to the English Breakfast Society, the ‘common’ full English breakfast consists of back bacon, eggs, British sausage, baked beans, fried tomato, fried mushrooms, black pudding and fried and toasted bread.
The dish dates back to the 1800s when the Victorians made it the most important meal of the day, using it as an opportunity to display their wealth and hospitality.
However, it was soon adopted by the working classes of the industrial revolution who needed a hearty breakfast to give them the energy to work a full day of grinding manual labour.
The tradition spread until its peak in the 1950s when roughly half of the British population started their day with a Full English breakfast.
But it seems the modern generation are turning their backs on it, with health concerns among the main reasons why. A fifth of 18 to 30-year-olds say they associate the dish with heart attacks.
And the same number said that the Full English was synonymous with obesity.
When asked to rate how healthy the full English is on a scale of one to 10 – with 10 being very unhealthy and 0 being extremely healthy – the average 18 to 30-year-old rated it a seven.
Nearly a quarter believe it is too greasy, and 42% said it reminded them of men in vests hanging around in transport cafes.
For a third it conjures up images of Brits abroad, and 29% of the 2,000 18 to 30-year olds polled admit they cringe when they see UK tourists abroad tucking into a cooked breakfast.
Other aspects which put young Brits off are greasy bacon (24%), lukewarm baked beans (8%) and processed sausages (6%). A resounding 27% claim the humble black pudding is the single most unappealing thing about a traditional fry-up.
Seven in 10 of young Brits would rather tuck into smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, smashed avocado on toast and oatmeal pancakes for breakfast, than brave a Full English.
Said Ellie Glason, director of polling firm Ginger Research, which commissioned the study, said: “The results of our nationwide breakfast research suggest the full English could become a thing of the past, due to the health concerns of younger Britons.
“In fact, according to the results, avocado, scrambled eggs, salmon and oatmeal pancakes are replacing the humble fry-up in the nation’s hearts.