Why do we love brunch so much? People who normally would never wait for a table at a restaurant stand in line for hours at the most happening brunch spots eagerly awaiting their Belgium waffles, scrambled eggs and gourmet coffee! The word “brunch” is obviously a portmanteau made from the words “breakfast” and “lunch.” It’s served midday and combines the best sweet and savory elements of both of these meals. It’s the most common way to celebrate Easter and Mother’s Day, and has even become an important element of wedding and family celebrations. As popular as it is, it’s easy to wonder how this mish-mash middle meal ever came to be.
The origins of brunch aren’t exactly clear. We do know, however, that on Sundays, it was common among Christians to have a large post-church meal. Catholics require fasting before mass, so after leaving their place of worship, many people ate a large celebratory meal combining breakfast and lunch. Some churches even hosted the meals right on the premises. We also know that during much of Western history, the Sunday midday meal was the largest meal of the day, followed in the early evening by a smaller supper.
A British writer named Guy Beringer first used the word “brunch” in 1895. In his essay “Brunch: A Plea,” he advocated for a meal that’s lighter than what was traditional at the time. He wrote, “[Brunch] is talk-compelling. 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.”
America may not have invented the concept of brunch, but we definitely ran with it and made it a hit. Although brunch originally conjured up images of idle ladies of leisure and people too poor to afford three full meals, Americans became very taken with brunch after World War I. During the Roaring Twenties, partygoers even created a mini-brunch that took place in the wee hours of the morning between dinner and breakfast, to refresh and sustain people who were dancing and drinking all night long.
So as it stands today, the tradition carries on. Many restaurants put a lot of thinking into their brunch menu serving everything from lemon-ricotta pancakes to delectable egg sandwiches coupled with fizzy beverages such as the Peach Bellini or Mimosa. So, if you’re more cautious about the foods you eat, such as myself, how do you enjoy such an elaborate dining affair? The occasional brunch at your favorite restaurant is absolutely fine and it happens to be one of my favorite things to do with my girlfriends, but don’t shy away from recreating the experience in your own home. Check out a few of these recipes to get started!
Peach Puree Bellini
Some folks make the Bellini so complicated. Check it out…it’s super easy, yummy and if created the right way, doesn’t have to bombard you with extra sugar and extraneous calories! The perfect brunch beverage!
Take 1 bag frozen organic peaches and throw in a blender. Blend until smooth (you may need to add a bit of purified water to the peach puree to blend properly) and transfer over to glass pitcher or individual wine or champagne glasses. Pop 1 bottle of champagne/sparkling wine and pour over puree. As an option, you can include an ounce or two of peach liqueur into the puree for extra peachiness and/or sweetness, but I personally find it unnecessary! Add fresh peach slices for garnish! Cheers!