You Can’t Have Pancakes For Dinner !

One question for you: What time do stomachs open for the day ? Why can’t I eat pancakes for dinner or fried chicken, mac n cheese and peach cobbler for breakfast ? Women and men have been trying for centuries to answer these questions but we are going to solve them in a couple paragraphs. Because we are rocket scientists.

attentive little ethnic child having breakfast in stylish apartment
Photo by Alex Green

Let’s Talk Dinner

Fun Fact: Dinner is a Old French word for “disnar” which literally means “breakfast”. Dinner was originally the first, largest meal of the day typically eaten around noon. Supper was the last, smaller meal of the day. Eventually, we began eating a meal prior to noon but did not go through the fuss of changing the name of our the largest meal. Instead dinner got pushed back later. So now what we consider breakfast is “dinner” and dinner is really “breakfast”.

What Makes Something a Breakfast Food ?

We can answer this question in two parts. First, breakfast as is more of an after thought meal. It was typically eaten by farm laborers that were up at the crack of dawn and needed nourishment before working. The elites, rich people, would typically sleep in therefore noon would be the first meal of the day. See how that ties in with the explanation ? Farmers would usually eat leftovers from the night before. Additionally, breakfast and supper were more like snacks to hold one over for noon dinner. Ancient Greece and Rome would have bread and some figs for the first meal because it was not considered an important meal.

The Last, I Mean First Meal

Dinner was also a time for social gathering so more thought, time and effort was put into the meal. As we move to industrialization, it was became more difficult to gather at noon to eat dinner. This is when the largest meal became supper, occurring at the end of the work day.

As far as the foods we can thank practical technology for deeming what was a breakfast food. Breakfast foods needed to be quick, easily assembled and economically practical. Pancakes, eggs, cereal and bacon are time efficient methods of having a “glorified morning snack”.

There is not a rule that states that certain foods are for dinner only. What it really came down to was practicality. Could you roast a pig with some veggies before your 9am shift ? No… the answer is always going to be no. So turn on that crockpot with the beef stew for dinner, grab that cold bowl for Frosted Flakes, and head out.

So do y’all follow the rules or are you rebels ? What do you typically eat for each meal ?

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