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What Breakfast Is Like Around the World

Typically eat eggs, or a bowl of cereal for breakfast? There are so many other tasty options. In this episode of “Around the World,” Great Big Story senior producer Beryl Shereshewsky makes wake-up calls to seven people in seven countries to find out what they eat to start the day. Among the dishes featured: Vietnam’s súp lu'o'n, a spicy eel soup; mandazi, an airy deep-fried dough from Kenya; and a plate of scrumptious catfish and grits made to perfection in the United States.

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TURKEY

Kuymak

Bedriye Genç makes kuymak pretty much every morning. The breakfast treat is commonly eaten in Turkey’s Black Sea region. While some people use butter and cheese to make kuymak, Genç uses kaymak, which is similar to clotted cream, and yellow corn flour. She adds water and a pinch of salt to the mixture, then slowly heats it up in a pan. Kuymak isn’t something you eat a lot of at one sitting, Genç says. It’s best enjoyed in small quantities.

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VIETNAM

Súp Lu'o'n

Think you don’t like eel soup? Thuy flat-out guarantees you will enjoy hers. She makes the breakfast dish known as súp lu'o'n in Vietnam at her shop in Vinh, waking up in the wee hours of the morning to start the broth. Thuy adds chopped vegetables and eel, of course, as well as spice to the simmering pot. The taste of chives really comes through in her version of the recipe.

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KENYA

Mandazi

Mandazi is a grab-and-go breakfast people of all ages enjoy in Kenya. Stephen Mjemu makes the yummy fried dough at his food stall in Gachie, mixing it by hand. Then he cuts the dough into smaller pieces and drops each one into a pan of oil to fry. Mjemu keeps a close watch on his mandazi, knowing exactly when the airy breakfast treat is ready to be plucked from the oil.

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UNITED STATES

Catfish and Grits

For Darius Williams, making catfish and grits isn’t simply preparing a meal. It’s continuing a tradition taught to him by his grandmother. In his kitchen in Atlanta, Williams soaks catfish in buttermilk, deep fries the fillets and serves them atop a mound of grits with chopped tomato. There’s something you need to know about cooking grits. You can’t rush the process, and you need to strive for creamy perfection.

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INDIA

Dhokla and Patra

Aneri Chavan never tires of dhokla and patra. She makes the popular Indian breakfast at her home in Bharuch, India, every morning. Preparing the dhokla is time-consuming. It takes up to nine hours to ferment the rice and white lentil batter for these light little cakes. For the patra, Chavan uses colocasia leaves, coating them with chickpea flour before steaming and frying them up. Then it’s on to the best part of her morning—enjoying the meal with her family.

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LEBANON

Za’atar Man’ouche

Craving a taste of Lebanon? Naji Nacouzi recommends you eat za’atar man’ouche. He bakes the flatbread in his backyard oven in Faitroun. After making homemade dough the night before, Nacouzi tops it with a blend of za’atar (wild thyme), olive oil, sesame, sumac and a pinch of salt before he slides it into the oven. According to Nacouzi, the “magic” happens while the za’atar man’ouche bakes. You can smell the deliciousness as the dough bubbles up.

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MYANMAR

Mohinga

Daw Theingi Nyunt’s favorite breakfast is a fish soup called mohinga. She makes the dish in her kitchen in Mandalay. The main ingredients include chunks of fresh fish, chickpeas, banana tree stems and eggs. From there, Nyunt says you can add everything from dried chilies to fish sauce. Mohinga is not only flavorful, Nyunt says, it’s also packed with protein and other nutrients you need to start your day.

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