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Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch, and regularly has some form of alcoholic drink (most usually champagne or a cocktail) served with it. It is usually served between 11 o'clock in the morning and 2 o’clock pm. The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch. Brunch originated in England in the late 19th century and became popular in the United States in the 1930s.
The 1896 supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary cites Punch magazine, which wrote that the term was coined in Britain in 1895 to describe a Sunday meal for "Saturday-night carousers" in the writer Guy Beringer's article "Brunch: A Plea" in Hunter's Weekly.
Instead of England's early Sunday dinner, a postchurch ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, the author wrote, why not a new meal, served around noon, that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare
By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well.
"Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting", Beringer wrote. "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."— William Grimes, "At Brunch, the More Bizarre the Better" New York Times, 1998
It is sometimes credited to reporter Frank Ward O'Malley, who wrote for the New York newspaper The Sun from 1906 until 1919, allegedly based on the typical mid-day eating habits of a newspaper reporter.
Some colleges and hotels serve brunch. Such brunches are often serve-yourself buffets, but menu-ordered meals may be available instead of, or with, the buffet. The meal usually involves standard breakfast foods such as eggs, sausages, bacon, ham, fruits, pastries, pancakes, waffles, scones, and the like.
The United States, Canada and United Kingdom militaries often serve weekend brunch in the dining facilities. They offer both breakfast and lunch options and are open from about 09:00-13:00 (though times vary).
The dim sum brunch is popular in Chinese restaurants worldwide. It consists of a variety of stuffed buns, dumplings, and other savory or sweet food items that have been steamed, deep-fried, or baked. Customers pick small portions from passing carts, as the kitchen continuously produces and sends out more freshly prepared dishes. Dim sum is usually eaten at a mid-morning, midday, and/or mid-afternoon teatime.
Brunch is prepared by restaurants and hotels for special occasions, such as weddings, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's or Easter.
The Chinese word "早午饭" (pinyin: zǎo wǔfàn) is defined as brunch, with "早饭" (zǎofàn; 早: morning, 饭: meal) meaning breakfast; and "午饭" (wǔfàn; 午: noon, 饭: meal) meaning lunch. The combination of "早饭" and "午饭" is thus "早午饭", brunch.
The Office québécois de la langue française accepts "brunch" as a valid word but also provides a synonym déjeuner-buffet. Note that, however, in Quebec, déjeuner alone (even without the qualifying adjective petit) means "breakfast". In Quebec, the word—when francized—is pronounced [bʁɔ̃ʃ].
In Italian, the English loanword "brunch" is generally used, though the neologism/calque "colanzo" is increasingly popular, being derived from "colazione" ("breakfast") and "pranzo" (lunch). Even less common but occasionally used is "pranzolazione," derived from the same sources.
Usage of these terms varies around Italy, as different regions have different cultural definitions of mealtimes and their names. Traditional usage, particularly in northern Italy, included calling the first meal of the day "prima colazione" (first colazione), and the second meal either "colazione" or "seconda colazione" (second colazione)—as distinguished from "pranzo," the evening meal (now generally used as the term for the midday meal). In this scheme, a separate term for "brunch" would not be necessary, as "colazione" could be used as a general term for any meal taken in the morning or even early afternoon. Though Italian meal terminologies have generally shifted since widespread use of this naming scheme, the concept of a distinct mid-morning meal combining aspects of breakfast and lunch is largely one imported from the UK and North America in the last century, and so the Anglicism "brunch" is predominant.
The area now known as Leslieville neighbourhood is sometimes called the brunch capital of Toronto as many renowned establishments serve brunch in that neighbourhood. Brunch buffets also existed in other parts of Southern Ontario, including Kitchener-Waterloo, where the German-term Smorgasborgs was sometimes used, from the 1970s onward.
In Canada, brunch is served in private homes using homemade foods and in restaurants. In both cases, brunch typically consists of the same dishes as would be standard in an American brunch, namely coffee, tea, fruit juices, breakfast foods including pancakes, waffles, and french toast; meats such as ham, bacon and sausages; egg dishes such as scrambled eggs, omelettes and Eggs Benedict; bread products such as toast, bagels or croissants; pastries or cakes such as cinnamon rolls or coffee cake; and fresh, cut fruit pieces or fruit salad. Brunches may also include foods not typically associated with breakfast, such as roasted meats, quiche, soup, smoked salmon, sandwiches, and salads such as Cobb salad.
When served in a either a private home or a restaurant, a brunch may be served buffet style, in which trays of foods and beverages are available and guests can serve themselves and select the items they want, often in an "all-you-can-eat" fashion. Restaurant brunches may also be served from a menu, in which guests select specific items which are served to them by waitstaff. Restaurant brunch meals range from relatively inexpensive brunches available at diners and family restaurants to expensive brunches served at high-end restaurants and bistros.
Brunch in the Philippines is in between breakfast and lunch so by practice, it is around 9:00 am and 12:00 noon. Contrary to what is being observed in other countries, brunch in the afternoon between 3:00 and 4:00 pm is called merienda, a traditional snack carried over by Spanish colonialism.