If you live in Dublin probably The Fumbally Café rings a bell or two. If you have visited Dublin but never went there, book a flight now and GO. Yes, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but it is definitely a place worth trying.
It is hard for me to explain why I enjoy this place so much without getting overly excited; it is really a mix of things: the juicy fresh produce, the simpleness of the food, the concise menu, the buzz and general friendliness, the green eggs & ham, the 30 minute walk by the canal to get there, the mouthwatering chocolate cake… If you’d like to know more about what is there to love, I wrote a brief post here with more details.
Why is this important? Well, we typically go there for brunch.
Information about the term ‘brunch’ can be a bit confusing though. According to several Google searches and mainly the Online Etymology Dictionary the word ‘brunch’ was first coined in Britain in 1895 in Guy Beringer’s article “Brunch: A Plea”. According to the Smithsonian Institution, the British author ‘suggested an alternative to the heavy, post-church Sunday meals in favor of lighter fare served late in the morning. ”Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting,” Beringer says. ”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”’ This was written over a century ago, but I agree that this hybrid thing called brunch puts me in a good temper and makes me satisfied with myself and my fellow beings 😝.
Brunch didn’t become popular though until the 1930s in Chicago, US. According to Evan Jones, author of “‘American Food: The Gastronomic Story“, movie stars, celebrities and the wealthy who were taking transcontinental train rides sometimes stopped at Chicago between trains to enjoy a late morning meal. This meal was usually served in hotels, as most restaurants would close on Sundays, and with the decrease in churchgoers after WWII, Sunday became a day to sleep in, do nothing and people were looking for a new excuse to be social and enjoy food. Restaurants soon caught up, expanding their offering for the “brunch crowd” and including alcoholic beverages and cocktails (Bloody Marys, Bellinis, Mimosas).
To my not-surprise, there are other versions and theories around when it originated. In America, the popularisation of brunch is often credited to Frank Ward O’Malley. When looking up the use of the term [in books], this is what came up:
This graph shows there was some, although very weak, use of ‘brunch’ even during the early 19th century, but since the Google Books Ngram Viewer is based on terms and phrases found in a corpus of books since 1500, I wouldn’t fully rely on this data, as brunch would’ve probably been recorded on the UrbanDictionary of the time, as well as magazines or newspapers, but perhaps not books, until later on in the 20th century when it was already popularised and part of the food culture in the US.
After this unasked-for history and analysis of the word ‘brunch’, I will get back on track.
I enjoy Fumbally’s green eggs & ham and I love cooking, so why not bring those two together?, I thought to myself. The dish is not a difficult one to replicate and it certainly is soul-satisfying and makes many bellies happy. Eating out is a treat and an opportunity to try new things, but the joy of cooking and eating something that one has planned, prepared and produced is incomparable. This is the original reason that motivated me to spend time in the kitchen, experimenting with ingredients and exploring possibilities. Having the opportunity to choose what we eat and how we eat it is a privilege and I think sometimes we forget that.
Replicating dishes can also be a disaster and utmost failure, but it’s a lot of fun too! It’s also cheap and most of the times easy. I hope this post encourages whoever might be reading this to copy their favourite brunch (breakfast, lunch, dinner.. whatever) dish at home.
Ingredients (for 2 people)
- 4 eggs
- 1 – or 2! – ripe avocados
- 1 lime juice, black pepper
- 6-8 slices chorizo
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Salt, cayenne pepper & paprika
- Toppings: shaved parmesan, sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Base: toasted sourdough / brioche
- Set a pan to medium heat. In the meantime…
- Slice avocado(s) in cubes*. Add lime juice and black pepper, stir roughly with a fork (this will allow the avocado to better absorb the lime juice).
- Chop chorizo in small pieces, tomatoes and fresh basil.
- Once pan is hot, add the chorizo and cook until it starts to crisp. Set aside. Keep pan at medium heat.
- Pour eggs in a bowl, add spices and whisk lightly. Add eggs to pan and cook, while stirring.
- To plate, add all ingredients in whatever way you prefer! You can toast a slice of bread/brioche and place it first thing before the eggs, or grate some parmesan on the egg and let it melt with the residual heat.
Super easyyyy!!!! 🙂
*Cut the avocado(s) in half, remove seed, cut flesh in dices then spoon it out into a bowl.