Who Invented Brunch?
Brunch was invented by Guy Beringer.
“When one has reached a certain age, and the frivolities of youth have paled, one’s best thoughts are turned in the channel of food.” -Guy Beringer
So began Guy Beringer’s, the infamous inventor of brunch, Brunch: A Plea. The first known written mention of the word brunch was penned by Guy Beringer and published in a British periodical named Hunter’s Weekly in 1895.
The writer’s original intent for how brunch should be conducted and the reasons for its needs were not entirely far off from the way brunch is handled to this day.
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Beringer called brunch an opportunity for making life brighter and promoting a “cheerful, sociable and inciting” meal with friends.
In his writing, Guy suggested that brunch was the perfect way to sweep “away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” He went on to say that brunch was a time for placing yourself in a good mood while also providing time for relaxation.
However, Guy Beringer’s proposal for combining Sunday breakfast and lunch into his newly dubbed “Brunch” was for reasons not entirely altruistic. In fact, his reasoning (or perhaps begging is the better word) for making the first meal on Sunday waylaid until noon was intended to help himself and others get over their hangovers from the night before!
Guy Beringer wrote about his awful experiences with being forced to rise early on his only day off and after a long night of drinking to boot just to be greeted with a quick, plain breakfast in the cold of the morning.
He also spoke about the anxiety induced on Saturday nights that should otherwise be full of merriment due to the knowledge of the need for waking early the next morning – thus preventing you from fully enjoying your Saturday nights.
In his brief essay, Guy made his plea with the world to embrace this new meal that would stamp out the need to rise early on Sunday morning after a long Saturday night of drinking and carousing.
He proposed breakfast and lunch dishes be served together with tea and coffee (beer and whiskey were also permissible according to Mr. Beringer) and the meal should commence sometime between noon and half past.
In committing to this new meal type and timing, the denizens of the world could more enjoy both their Saturdays as well as their Sundays.
Dishes to be served were those of fish and other meat courses in addition to standard breakfast fare such as “marmalade and kindred features” (another way of saying jellied toast basically!) Guy considered eggs and bacon to be “adapted to solitude; they are consoling, but not exhilarating.”
He suggested that the standard breakfast meal failed to stimulate conversation while brunch is talk-compelling and a time for good humor and friendship.
The next time you’re enjoying brunch with your friends and taking part in some socially-acceptable day drinking, remember to tip your glass to Guy Beringer for providing you with the groundwork necessary to turn brunch into the cultural phenomenon it has become.