What makes a breakfast “American?” I considered this question after ordering an “American Breakfast” at a restaurant at Narita Airport. If the first meal of the day had an elementary mythological form the meal served to me was a Levi-Straussian ideal. It was an hr-breakfast—a meal reduced through the necessity of rough translation to its barest essential “American” form. Its bland color pallet, processed form and simple textures and flavors spoke to its role as simple morning fuel. Its bare, unadorned constituent parts sat there on the plate lonely and forlorn—egg, white toast with strawberry jelly, ham, potatoes (signified by the french fries). While green vegetables aren’t common for an American breakfast I commonly read them as simply indicating “healthy food.”
The breakfast was horrible. I should have chosen the “Japanese breakfast” alternative. But it didn’t have an egg.