I told you previously about the lunch and dinner service at Three Broomsticks, the quick-service restaurant at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure. Not many people know that Three Broomsticks also serves breakfast, but so far, that meal has been made available to only selected guests, those who have purchased travel packages or are staying is certain hotels. I was able to sneak in recently to check out the morning meal.
I was most interested in the full English Breakfast, of course. I can go anywhere for a pancake breakfast, and I can get a continental breakfast on just about any continent. But the full English you can get pretty much only in England, for the most part. But now you can also get it at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter -- if you’re among that still-select group.
What you won’t get is an explanation about why a full English breakfast is made up of the components that it is. Those components are: eggs, bacon, sausage, baked tomato, baked beans, mushrooms and black pudding (also known as blood pudding). And I’ll also grant you that, with the exception of the pudding, which is not well-known to American palates, all those components are perfectly acceptable comestibles, including at breakfast. The baked beans particularly have a certain American cowboy allure as a morning meal.
But what I find so curious is that no one seems to know how or why these ingredients came to be accepted as the typical British morning meal. Wouldn’t you think someone somewhere along the way would have asked? Or that some British historian would have looked into it?
But I can’t find any documentation on it. I was certain each component was chosen for some symbolic significance. The eggs, of course, would signify life; the mushrooms would represent the peaty soil of Britain; the baked beans would symbolize the nation’s natural gas resources. But no, there’s nothing on the books about it. And another thing: it’s always called the full English; no one ever mentions a half English or a partial English.
Whatever. The full English breakfast at Three Broomsticks was actually pretty good. There is no choice for how you may have your eggs, they’re offered only scrambled. But they were nicely done, firm, and not too runny nor hard and rubbery. The potatoes were thickly sliced cottage fries, the tomato, a bit on the smallish size, added little more than color. The mushrooms were mostly hidden under the potatoes, and the baked beans lacked much flavor. The ham, or Canadian bacon, which here is called English bacon -- everyone’s so territorial -- was an ample serving of two generous slices, plus there were two sausage links. These were better than any I’ve had in Britain where they tend to be loaded with a bready filling. The blood sausage, here referred to has black pudding, as though that would somehow make it more palatable, was more like the consistency of the English bangers, with a coarse texture that is slightly mealy. I have never once woken up with a hunger for blood sausage, and I’ve never tasted any that would replace sugarplum fairies in my dreams. Nothing about the black pudding at Three Broomsticks did anything to change that. But I applaud the culinary team at Universal for having the guts to include it in the breakfast. After all, if you’re going to do the full English, you may was well go the full Monty.
There are signs that Universal is easing up its invitation-only breakfast policy, but so far, it’s still a restricted reservation. I’ll let you know when I hear otherwise.