Why full Scottish breakfast should NEVER come with beans – Susan Morrison

Beans have no place on the menu in the mornings, says Susan Morrison (Picture: Nigel Roddis/PA)Beans have no place on the menu in the mornings, says Susan Morrison (Picture: Nigel Roddis/PA)
Beans have no place on the menu in the mornings, says Susan Morrison (Picture: Nigel Roddis/PA)
The Yorkshire husband and I went to a wonderful wedding and treated ourselves to an overnight stay in the hotel.

Well, he’s retired now. We can do what we like, including loading up our plates at the breakfast buffet the next day. Well, he did. I’m not a fry-up fan, being more inclined to yoghurt and fruit, perhaps some toast and Marmite.

I don’t see the point of a breakfast where you feel you have to go and have a lie down afterwards. Coffee, that’s pretty much all you need to start the day, and the stronger, the better.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He went the full Scottish breakfast experience, and what I am about to say will take us into the stormy waters of controversy.

Beans have no business being on a plate of bacon, eggs and black pudding. There. I’ve said it. To use a powerful and accurate Scottish phrase, it gies me the dry boak.

That reddish yellow puddle oozing bean sauce is an abomination.

Read More
How to cook a healthy Scottish breakfast

Hotel beans are in a class of their own. Even in the best establishments, they’ve been sitting stewing away under heat lamps, like Essex girls on sunbeds. The beans gradually congeal into a sticky lumpy orange mass waiting to be splattered onto the plate next to the eggs. And beans and egg should never touch.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

If you are lucky enough to get a perfect fried egg on your plate, the combination of bright yellow yoke over the thick red coagulating sauce looks like the sort of colour combination a swanky upper-class interior decorator with a name like Lulu might pick to refurbish Number 10.

Jings, I had nearly forgotten about that expensive wallpaper. Those beans on his plate brought all that back. Another reason to hate beans at breakfast.

Funnily enough, I’m generally pro-bean. I’m keen on beans on toast and have fond memories of a Scotch pie topped with a generous mountain of Heinz finest. But it's a no from me for beans pre-lunch time.

Runny things don’t go on breakfast plates. Mushrooms, bacon, black pudding, these things only need the yolk of a perfectly fried egg and a generous slug of brown sauce. Never tomato, obviously, and that’s another mystery of the hotel breakfast. What happened to the tinned tomatoes?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Every hotel buffet used to have them, bubbling away and generally ignored, which was a good idea. Scoop up two of them and your plate was awash with bean sauce and runny warm tomato juice. You can’t eat a tinned tomato. Stick a fork in one and they explode. Everyone knows that. You start the day looking like you’ve had a ring-side seat at a nose bleed.

We don’t even treat fresh tomatoes well. A tomato is a good healthy food choice. Why take this little powerhouse of vitamins and vitality and fry it? Why do we have to bathe all things breakfast in fat before it hits the plate?

Why tomatoes? We don’t put cucumbers on a full Scottish fry-up. Possibly because they can’t be fried. I’ve tried that. Mistook it for a courgette, since you ask. And no, it didn’t work out well.

He ignored my objections to his breakfast. He always does. We couldn’t ignore the aftermath though. It was a fairly long drive home. The car windows were open.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.