People love brunch. In fact, aside from those who don’t really care for breakfast, there aren’t many people who don’t enjoy a great brunch now and then. For some, it’s a weekly thing. Others have brunch dates. Some attend brunch events and shows as a way to get out and engage with the community. But just where did brunch come from?
In 1895, British writer Guy Beringer wrote an article for Hunter’s Weekly, in which he argued that rather than the post-church dinner that most in England were used to at the time, perhaps a hybrid of breakfast and lunch should be served for the “Saturday-night carousers.”
His idea was that the meal would start with breakfast cuisine and then include heavier dishes at the end. He talked about it being a sociable activity and making it something that people could enjoy when they weren’t of the church-going crowd.
It was around the 1930s when brunch first started getting attention in the U.S., due largely to the people traveling on the transcontinental railroad who would stop for late breakfast on their journeys. At this time, these were usually celebrities and the ultra-rich, so brunch was immediately attached to luxury and wealth.
Serving drinks with brunch (of the alcoholic variety) started even in the Prohibition Era of the 1920s, but became standard practice in the 1950s as social drinking became more of an everyday norm.
From the 1950s to today, brunch has come and gone in popularity. For the past few years, it’s been all the buzz for people of all ages, with some restaurants creating entire menus around the meal. There are upscale restaurants, brunch buffets, catered brunch options, and everything in between.
And as for the menus? Whatever you want can be on a brunch menu. From pancakes and waffles to shrimp scampi or fried scallops, “brunch” is a lose enough term that almost nothing is off-limits. There are even a growing number of brunch events taking place around the country, including charity events, shows and trivia brunches, and more.
If you’re looking to embrace some delicious history, head to brunch this weekend, or consider catering brunch for your family and friends for your next big celebration. With endless menu options and plenty of reasons to skip the typical fare, brunch is on the hot list for good reason.