The Ultimate Suffolk Fry Up

Instagram is full of people who feel compelled to show you their breakfast. Whether you agree with Tim Gurner’s infamous assertion that the millennial breakfast habits are to blame for their lack of home-ownership; we can all agree that breakfast and brunch are now a big deal.  I have no issue with this. In fact, on a Sunday morning it’s often a great source of comfort and inspiration to flick through instagram and eye-up everyone’s morning meals.

Breakfast goals?

One thing I have noticed, though, is that you will rarely find a decent picture of a really mouth-watering looking fry-up.

The staple of English breakfast tables is not a photogenic beast.  It is comforting and hangover-busting and loved by millions. But does it look good up against avo-on-toast-hipster types?  Sadly, it does not.

Often this means that this mighty gargoyle of a breakfast is overlooked by food bloggers, chefs and instagram lovers.  Let’s be honest, it’s just not very chic.

My aim, then, is to give the humble fry-up its time in the spotlight and share with you my ultimate Suffolk fry-up.  And, if you’re at all vain about creating aesthetic breakfast goals; I’ve even thought about how to make it beautiful too!

The best ingredients

Using high quality ingredients is the foundation of any really good meal.  The traditional fry-up sadly has a reputation for being cheap and cheerful.  It’s associated with greasy spoon cafes, dubious sausages and (shudder) filmy fried eggs.  To shine up this diamond in the rough only the best ingredients would do. As you know I always try to make my recipes with a local focus. Luckily in Suffolk we’re blessed with so many high-quality producers; it was only natural to use the best of my local offerings.

Breakfast controversy

So I set about choosing the ultimate Suffolk ingredients for the ultimate Suffolk fry-up.  Not easy, it turns out.  Everyone I spoke to about my idea had stong opinions on the best Suffolk producer of each component and even what belonged on the plate at all.  Tempers flared, arguments unfolded. It seems this humble dish is a divisive one.

And so you may not agree with me (If I’m honest I’m still sulking over the inclusion of black pudding, but I’ve bowed to the will of the people), you may be aghast at my choice of sausage, or the inclusion of baked beans, or omission of fried bread……but here goes:

The Ultimate Suffolk Fry-up

Bread: Penny Bun seeded rye loaf, toasted & buttered. Purchased from Box Southwold.

Butter: Fen Farm Dairy raw butter.

Eggs: I cheated a bit here and used eggs from my own hens (zero food miles). These were fried sunny side up to keep that gold colour on show.

Tomatoes: Newbourne Farm – griddled with a little salt & pepper.

Sausages: The Suffolk Black Pig Company.  Two-time Framlingham Sausage Festival winners.

Bacon: Lane Farm smoked streaky bacon: These guys were my neighbours when I was growing up and it’s still my favourite bacon without question.

Black pudding: Fruit Pig Company, Wisbech- not technically from Suffolk but one of the few companies in the UK making black pudding without using imported, freeze-dried blood. Purchased from Hall Farm Butchers in Framlingham.

Baked beans: Hodmedod’s British baked beans.

Cooking oil: Hill Farm Oil.

Sauce: Salubrious breakfast sauce.

Apple juice: James White cox apple juice.

A Beautiful Breakfast?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it’s very difficult to be disappointed when beholding a plate full of breakfast!  My top tips for keeping it instagram-friendly are:

  • Use good quality eggs and serve sunny side up for a dazzling yolk.
  • Keep quantity relative to plate size – nothing looks good in a heap.
  • Serve beans separately in a pot.
  • Get some colour on it: A golden-brown sausage is so much better than pale and insipid.
  • Wipe up any oil smudges on the plate before serving.

Having said all that I’m still not convinced that the fry-up will ever win any beauty contests. Does it matter? This British classic is comforting, hearty and a necessary start to any Sunday. If you use good quality ingredients it can have magical qualities. Everything on my ultimate Suffolk fry-up was made less than 50 miles away from my kitchen table and that’s the thing that really made me smile.

Get involved

I’m sure you’ll have your own favoured producers from around Suffolk. Why not send me your ultimate breakfast line up?

I’d also love to see your pictures – how insta-friendly is your fry-up?


Originally written for Sampling Suffolk food blog