Sunday Ritual — Breaking Bread

Weekdays are for work. Saturday is for running errands. And Sunday is for brunch — a sacred gathering where the cares and trials of the preceding week are washed away with a glass of sparkling wine. Friends meet to tell stories and break bread. It’s a communal dining experience that allows you to start the week feeling renewed and refreshed.

Though it may seem like just another fad from the young professional crowd, brunch is actually a British invention, first used in 1895 by Guy Beringer. In a forward-thinking article titled “Brunch: A Plea”, he proposed an idea for a new Sunday meal, served around noon. It would start with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures, before moving along to heavier eats.

Beringer surmised that brunch would promote human happiness because it is cheerful, sociable and inciting. Also, by eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night “carousers”.

“It is talk-compelling, he said. “It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”

Chicago was the first U.S. city where brunch became popular. In his book, “American Food: The Gastronomic Story”, author Evan Jones explains that luxury trains going from New York to Los Angeles during the 1930s would stop in Chicago, allowing the high rollers of the day to detrain and enjoy a leisurely brunch in the Windy City. In the late ’40s and early ’50s, the idea of brunch picked up steam across the rest of the country.

Over the years brunch selections have become more extensive, but the staples remain, namely the bread and the wine, i.e., the English muffins (eggs Benedict) and the mimosas.

Photo credit: {Instagram}

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