If you ever go to Hawaii and stay at the Sheraton Waikiki, you will see clearly the great distinction between the American Breakfast and the Japanese Breakfast.
The Japanese are one of the largest tourists groups coming to Hawaii. Hawaii is tropical, warm and filled with lovely beaches and clean water in contrast to Japan which has a northern climate and is extremely crowded.
It is traditional for wealthy Japanese to come to Hawaii for their honeymoons. Of course, Japanese entrepreneurs have opened Japanese restaurants across the islands to cater to this moneyed group of tourists.
The Sheraton Waikiki is no exception. Their management knows that they must cater faithfully to the Japanese needs or they wont fill their hotel rooms. As a consequence, their breakfast dining area is a combination of a Japanese breakfast and an American breakfast.
The two types of breakfast are startling dissimilar. Since these breakfasts are served banquet style, one can stroll between the isles of food and get an almost shocking appraisal of the two forms of eating. In addition, one will note that the Japanese are almost entirely thin and normal looking; whereas, the Americans are frequently very obese.
The American breakfast evolved from the days when most Americans were farmers.
The American farmer would spend his entire days in the fields, tending his crops and his animals. He needed a substantial breakfast which would last him throughout the day.
Since farmers have chickens and pigs and grain, the food for the breakfast came from these sources. Eggs, two or three, either fried or scrambled, were prepared and placed on a dish with pork meat, such as bacon or ham.
In addition, the grain in the form of flour, was used to make pancakes or waffles or corn in the form of flakes were added to the egg dish. This starch dish was generally covered with syrup, either from maple trees, or from sugar cane.
Very little fruit was eaten, although orange juice was hugely popular. A watery coffee was also taken and it was diluted with cream. If the woman of the house wanted to bake, muffins of various types were available.
SUMMARY OF THE AMERICAN BREAKFAST
The American breakfast consists chiefly of carbohydrates, animal fat and some protein. It is high in calories.
Since Japan is a string of islands, many of its population were fishermen.
The Japanese had no large farms, no cattle, few pigs and chickens. Their food came mainly from the sea. However, they did manage to grow rice and soybeans and these two seeds make up a large part of their diet.
The Japanese breakfast is quite simple. The main staple is Miso Soup, which is, essentially a fish broth coupled with soybean products and some seaweed. The fish broth is made by placing Dashi, an extract of the Bonito fish, in hot water. To this is added Miso, which is simply fermented soybean paste. One can then add Tofu which is more soybean, veggies, and seaweed.
The result: a very low calorie soup with high protein.
The next common ingredient is fish, which is either fresh or dried. Eggs in various forms complement the breakfast.
SUMMARY OF THE JAPANESE BREAKFAST
The Japanese breakfast consists of soybean, mostly protein, fish soup, fish and perhaps eggs. A low calorie, high protein breakfast.
NOTE: Rice is almost always eaten as well. This is a carbohydrate, but without any fat. The quantity eaten has less than 200 calories.
The American breakfast is a very high calorie affair, with meat fat, carbohydrates and little protein.
The Japanese breakfast is a very low calorie affair, with fish protein, soy protein and a small quantity of carbohydrate.
From the point of view of weight and nutrition, it is easy to see that the Japanese breakfast wins.