the year in breakfast


I am a pretty eager reader of newspapers. I can usually gauge if I'm taking on too much based on whether or not I have time to sit down with a cup of coffee - wherever I may be - and read the weekend paper. And my eagerness only increases around this time of the year. When I was expressing my fondness for end of the year newspapers to my partner he explained the reason why: I like lists.

I am a list-maker. My Moleskine is littered with lists of foods to make and things to do. My journals are more or less pages of lists documenting the lives I've lived, the places I've traveled to, the people I've met and places to go.

Keeping with my identity as a list-maker, it is no surprise that I list - and visually document - my breakfasts. One funny thing that happens with blogging is the fact that I create a personal archive. I can flip back the pages of Paper Doll Parade and see where I've been and what I've been eating in case I ever need a reminder. 

Last January I was in Delhi where I attended the India Art Fair. The last day of the fair Raqs Media Collective, Ravid Sundaram and Daniela Zyman participated in a talk: Has the Moment of the Contemporary Come and Gone? Ravi Sundaram, senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi, brought up the concept of the archive and the authors of the archive. Historians used to write history and journalists used to report news; however, new media has changed this. Anyone with a camera or a phone now is able to write history and to deliver news. Archives have been democratized. Never before have so many people been authors of reality, perception, interpretation and memory.

Between my practice of writing lists and my interest in archives it only makes sense that I like newspaper articles with lists the most. Sure enough every December newspapers and magazines list the best movies and books of the past year, the best art exhibitions and albums. They list the news events that we remember most and the lives that were lost that we won't easily forget. Lists take over and a whole year is reduced to a series of lists.

This post maps out my 2012 through breakfast: where I was, what I ate, and who I shared it with. I've already shared some breakfasts here, from winter and spring in Munich and trips back to Sweden to summer in Canada. I've shared some recipes, stories, and images of my breakfasts before so consider this post as a fill to the gaps that were the rest of 2012. 


I am someone who refers to hotels, hostels and air-mattresses as home. "Let's go home," I say after spending a long day exploring a city by foot. By home I do not refer to where I live or where I am from, but instead to where I am staying. When I was younger I caught the travel bug and I have never recovered. I've learned to make home wherever the company is good and I have a place to sleep and maybe even cook. 

What was once a conscious decision to travel as much as I can has become a habit, a way of living even. From studying in Sweden, to working in Mumbai and Venice and from living with my love in Munich to visiting family in Toronto and Dallas and friends in New Delhi and Mexico, my life often has me packing suitcases and hunting down good breakfast places in new cities. I've also learned a few tricks when it comes to making magic happen with a pocket knife and some fresh produce in a hotel room.


I started 2012 in Jaipur, India and I ended it in Oaxaca, Mexico. At the beginning of the year I ate my weight in dosa in Mumbai and paratha in New Delhi. India spoiled me further with spicy Parsi omelets and fresh fruit juices. Apple, banana and cinnamon. Fresh pomegranate. Pineapple and cardamom. Watermelon and mint. Lemon and basil. Sweet lime.  

Munich is a city that is cozy with tradition and traditional German baking. It is also a city that takes coffee rather seriously thanks to its large Italian population. It is proud of its produce and there are three outdoor markets within a ten minute bike ride of my apartment (they stay open even in winter). From Munich to Sweden and from Ontario to Venice, I feasted on poached eggs and baked goods, smoothies and fruit, oats and nuts. 

Mexico City made my heart race. I hope to tell you more about my much-too-short encounter with that metropolis. It satisfied my love for fresh fruit juices on the street (grapefruit, tangerine, papaya with pineapple and banana), as well as for tortillas and black beans. 

Yes, 2012 was filled with memorable places, faces and breakfasts and for that I'm grateful. 


The Year in Breakfast  


toast and rose petal jam from Pushkar in New Delhi

fresh fruit juices in Goa

freshly picked gooseberries in Pushkar 

pancakes with honey and melon in Jaipur

fig rolls from LMB (Laxmi Mishthaan Bhandar) in Jaipur and eaten on the train to Jodhpur 

chia pudding with almond milk, cardamom, blackberries and pear

Sfogliatelle in Napoli

veggie and egg tower of power, Munich 

fruit salad with tahini sauce, Munich 

date bread, poached egg and dukkah, Munich 

a soft boiled egg and purple potatoes with dill and sour cream, Munich

corn and black bean salad with a fried egg, avocado and fresh lime, Munich

baked oatmeal with blackberries and pear, Munich

coconut and raspberry Bircher Muesli, Munich

fresh watermelon juice, Munich

berry Bircher Muesli in Baden, Switzerland

guava, pineapple and mango smoothie, Baden

quinoa with dates, white peach and walnuts, Venice

almond milk chia pudding with fresh figs, Venice

Bircher Muesli with peach, Venice 

yogurt with homemade orange and cranberry granola, Venice 

scrambled eggs with black truffle, Venice

fresh oranges at a market in Alba, Italy

cappuccino at Cafe Florian, Venice

oatmeal, pomegranate seeds, soaked almonds and brown sugar, Munich

coffee, croissants and jam, Munich

breakfast burritos with blood orange mimosas, Munich

plenty of red Texas grapefruit in Dallas

challah French toast, turkey bacon and maple syrup in Dallas

pan de yema at Oaxaca's market

chilaquiles in Mexico City

coffee, orange juice and pan de yema by the pool in Oaxaca on the first day of 2013 

* * * *

Happy New Year! May your 2013 be tasty and inspiring.

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