How We Got That Blessed Thing Called Brunch

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It has almost become a ritual. A routine. You’ve forgotten a time where it did not exist in your social sphere. Or, for some college students, it really has always existed in your life. It’s your weekly get-together with friends; something you wait all week for.

It’s brunch. Did you ever wonder how this meal hybrid came about?

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Well, this is debated. While some sources indicate that brunch came from English hunting lunches, in which meats, eggs, and alcohol was plentiful, others credit the Catholics’, who routinely fasted before mass, then had a big meal after the service concluded.

Brunch, as a word, has its origins in an 1895 Hunter’s Weekly article title by Guy Beringer, “Brunch: A Plea.” Brunch started as a British alternative to Sunday dinner. Early versions of brunch consisted of coffee and lighter breakfast foods to replace the heavier food traditionally packed for dinners. “Brunch is cheerful, sociable, and inciting,” said Beringer.

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Brunch caught on as a social movement, but first, it gained speed in the States due to convenience. Hollywood stars used to stop in Chicago when traveling from coast to coast, often between meal times, so hotels offered them brunch.

The mid-morning/mid-afternoon meal caught even more wind after World War II with Sunday church attendance declining. This was due to people wanting to relax after a long workweek.

Today’s brunch is notorious for the Eggs Benedict, French toast, bagels and lox, pastry trays, and the abundance of incredibly sweet and savory dishes. Not only does brunch offer a plethora of options for everyone, but it also provides a great opportunity to eat, relax, and catch up with friends.

Elana is a senior at New York University double majoring in journalism and art history. She loves all things chocolate (especially Levain dark chocolate chocolate chip cookies). Her pastimes include writing, eating, museum-hopping, and attempting to decipher Harry Styles’ tweets.

Photo Credit: Sammy Gitlin

 

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