Breakfast: the history and origins of the third meal

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Bra, Italy

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March 10th at 15:00 in your time zone

Free event

Breakfast is a meal that’s now widespread across the world, but which deserves to be better examined in order to understand how we came to manage our mornings as we do now.

What’s the history of breakfast? And how did these habits come about? In ancient times, the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians would rarely eat after waking. They consumed their first meal at mid-morning, around four hours after waking, and a second meal, dinner, around ten hours after waking.

This model survived in Europe until the 18th century. Breakfast, from that time onwards, was changed by the introduction of tropical drinks – coffee, tea, hot chocolate – the greater availability of sugars and the Industrial Revolution, which radically altered the organization of the day, splitting into three parts for work, leisure and sleep. In urban areas the industrial era prompted people to eat in the morning before a long day of work; this shift happened first among factory workers, then throughout the cities, in schools and universities.

Gilles Fumey, born to a farming family in the French region of Jura, is a Professor of Cultural Geography at the University of the Sorbonne. A Slow Food member since 2008, he’s published over a dozen books on food, including Atlas de l’alimentation, Géopolitique de l’alimentation, Voraces voraces, villes frugales and, in 2021, Manger local, manger global.

The Food Talks are a new and freely accessible format of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto: ten minutes for our guests to explore their thoughts on the world we live in, and the future we want for it.

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Event languages: IT, EN, FR

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