Mexico vs. USA: The Breakfast Showdown

If you’re from California, you probably grew up on Mexican food – tacos, burritos, carne asada. But how often did you hit up the chilaquiles, champurrado and conchas? Americans don’t usually eat Mexican food for breakfast (probably because it doesn’t come with margaritas). This is a big mistake because Mexican breakfast is DELICIOSO. I’m already hearing you: “But American breakfast is the best! It can’t be beat! It’s world-renowned!” That may be true, but let’s put it to the test. It is time for an official round of BREAKFAST vs. DESAYUNO.

Round 1: Baked goods

We may be off to a slow start here, folks. As we well know, baked goods are not a national strength for either of our two contenders today. US loses two points for plagiarism – pretty much all their baked goods were ripped off from Europe: croissants from France, strudel from Germany, donuts from…Dutch people? However, I’m hearing a counter- argument “Isn’t that the American way – taking the best every culture has to offer and making it our own?” The Dutch did this:

Americans somehow made it THIS:

Well-played, USA. Let’s turn our attention to the Mexican bakery. Two points for the interactive experience. Rather than pointing at things behind the counter, at the Mexican bakery, you grab a metal tray and tongs and grab everything that strikes your fancy and take it to the counter in the back. That’s great, but the selection is not…we’re getting a lot of booing from the Mexican fans, who are starting to chant: “Conchas, conchas, conchas…” The referee is conceding that conchas are pretty darn delicious, but everything else is pretty so-so…The Americans have brought up the Mexican chain: Los Bisquets Bisquets Obregon, pointing out that their “bisquets” are “weak sauce.”

Bisquets from Los Bisquets Bisquets

Referee has stated that the big, buttery, flaky traditional American biscuit is an estimated 10 times more delicious.

American biscuits

It’s not looking good for Mexico, but wait…what is this? It appears Mexico is bringing one last item to the table – is that a fresh CHURRO? Smothered in cinnamon and sugar?! Mexico appears to be breaking the churro in half…something is oozing out…that’s right, folks, the churro is filled with hot caramel sauce! This is going to be a tough round to call!

Churros filled with cajeta (caramel sauce)

Conclusion: Americans won’t get dinged on plagiarism since they took European baked goods to a new level – they get one point for sprinkle innovation and one point for baking powder biscuits. Mexico gets two points for interactivity, but loses two points on overall quality, regaining two points on the strength of churros alone. That’s right, folks – we have a draw.

USA: 2

Mexico: 2

Round 2: Beverages

The US opens the round by putting it all out there…and it appears that all they have is coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice, not a strong start…Mexico points out that they actually get to keep coffee since they grew the beans. Excellent point. However, for being a coffee-producing country, they sure drink a lot of instant Nescafe – ouch! Then again, so does the American midwest….what’s that? Did I hear cafe de olla? One point for Mexico in coffee-brewing style points – brewing coffee in a mega pot with cinnamon and sugar was a brilliant idea. We’re getting some whispering from the Americans – one word, “Starbucks.” Well-played, USA! Two points for gourmet coffee chain domination! Mexico is taking the hit – they appear to be admitting they can’t deny their intense love of Starbucks.

Starbucks Coffee in San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico

Mexico appears to be reaching deep for this next hit…CHAMPURRADO!

The Americans tried to answer that with…

Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate Mix with Mini-Marshmallows

Are you kidding me, America? One point for marshmallow innovation, but Abuelita kills Swiss Miss any day, much less bona fide homemade champurrado!

Grandma is smiling because she knows she can kick that little Swiss girl's butt any day

America is faltering, but Mexico does not appear to be backing down. They’re going in for the lethal blow…Fresh-squeezed juices including el vampiro and jugo anti-gripal (anti-flu juice)!

Mexican Juice Stand

Jugo Vampiro/Vampire Juice: Mix of beet, celery, orange juice

Jugo Antigripal/Anti-flu juice: Mix of lime, orange, guava, pineapple and honey

That’s it, folks, America is down and doesn’t appear to be getting up!

Conclusion: US gets two points for Starbucks, Mexico racks up points with cafe de olla and champurrado, garnering two more points for their outrageous selection of fresh-squeezed juices, and they didn’t even have to pull licuados out of their sleeve!

US: 2

Mexico: 4

Round 3: Main dish

It has been a knock-down, drag-out fight so far. It’s a hard one to call at this point…Main dishes are America’s strength, but the Americans team admit they don’t really know what Mexicans eat for breakfast. Will their hubris and ignorance be their undoing?

America opens the round – they are holding up a picture of American folk hero, Paul Bunyan, and daring Mexico to come up with a breakfast big enough to feed him.

Paul Bunyan: American folk hero and big eater

An interesting approach – America could have come out on the quality of its offerings, but they appear to think they’ll dominate based on serving size alone. Those ARE some pretty huge flapjacks!

Obesity epidemic? What obesity epidemic?

Average American Breakfast

The Mexican team looks slightly shocked, and possibly a bit disgusted…but they are quickly regrouping…Their answer – that staple of American breakfast menus everywhere – Huevos Rancheros!

Huevos Rancheros

It looks like it’s coming to blows…America answers with: Biscuits and gravy!

Biscuits and gravy

Mexico: Chilaquiles!

Chilaquiles: Fried tortilla dunked in red or green sauce, with eggs or chicken on top, plus sour cream and cheese

America: Pancakes with real maple syrup!

Pancakes/Flapjacks, known in Mexico as: "Panqueques"

Mexico: Tamales!

Tamales...for breakfast?!! Simon!

The American team has a question for the judge – it appears they did not know you can eat tamales for breakfast in Mexico…that threw them for a loop…We didn’t catch their other question, but they seem to have regrouped and have a response…Denny’s Grand Slam!

Denny's Grand Slam

A new tactic – we thought they might present egg dishes and bacon separately, but they seem to be trying to overwhelm Mexico with the ultimate breakfast combo, at prices that can’t be beat…

Mexico: Machaca con huevos!

machaca con huevos y frijoles refritos

The Americans look really confused – they clearly did not fully investigate their competition – one of the Americans appears to be looking up machaca on his cell phone. For our viewers, machaca is dried beef, which may sound a bit peculiar, but we can confirm that it is indeed delicious. How will the Americans answer that one?

America: Breakfast burrito!

The Breakfast burrito: Origins unclear, Genius unquestioned

Wait a second! Are the Americans attempting to claim the breakfast burrito? Is that not Mexican food? We have a debate starting to emerge…The referee is asking for clarification about what exactly the Americans are talking about…it appears their point of reference is the Jack in the Box breakfast burrito, made with sausage, American cheese and hash browns. The Mexicans have confirmed that they disown that concoction. They are smiling and laughing – they clearly don’t think they need this one in order to win…The Americans are retracting the breakfast burrito and substituting the: Egg McMuffin!

Egg McMuffin

Mexico answers with: Huevos a la Mexicana with a side of chorizo!

Mexican-style egg scramble with tomato, onion and jalapeno

Mexico seems to be running out of options…their team is discussing some regional specialities for its next move…The Americans are clearly seeing an opportunity to secure their domination here, they are conferring with the ref….they are stepping out with:


Brunch: You cannot resist its charms

The audience is confused…Many Mexicans do not appear to be familiar with brunch…we have a debate between the judges about whether brunch is an off-shoot of breakfast or another meal entirely. The Americans are being asked to clarify what they mean by brunch. They have put up a definition on the main screen:

Brunch = all-you-can-eat buffet of traditional American breakfast foods + seafood buffet with crab and shrimp cocktails + eggs benedict + quiche + Bagels and creamcheese with lox + baked goods + mimosas + Bloody Marys

WOW! America is throwing down! But it’s not clear if this is entirely legal…folks, we can’t call it – it is going to a vote of the people – Post your votes in the comments section below or on my Facebook wall. Who will prevail?!!

Don't let those alcoholic breakfast beverages addle your mind!



Filed under California, Food, Mexico, Uncategorized

7 responses to “Mexico vs. USA: The Breakfast Showdown

  1. Peggy Tonon

    OMG – Warren and I laughed so hard… (especially the Dutch donuts vs American donuts comparison). What a fun commentary! I have to say the Mexican breakfast may have a slight edge…

    • Glad you enjoyed! I would be hard-pressed to make the call on this one…I LOVE chilaquiles, but I also love bagels and cream cheese! Fortunately, living in California, I get to enjoy the best of both worlds!

  2. History Fan

    I love this post!!!!

    Round one Winner Mexico – What about the bagle?…French Toast?..Overall to me conchitas are the clear winner for baked goods.

    Round two *Winner Mexico- Not being a caffiene addict. Mexico has found a way to make you addicted to multiple beverages. I would argue that Mexico is clearly the healthier option. You forgot one drink that is VERY popular in Jalisco. Tejuino =)….Abuelita Rocks!

    Round three *TIE-Americans start the morning with enough calories for the whole day. Breakfast in America has become far less focused in the kitchen and more of the restaurant experience. FYI still waiting to go to Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles with you… Denny’s, IHOP etc.

    Overall I would say Mexico is more adventurous than America with Breakfast. As long as you have a Starbucks, bacon, pancake and eggs it is considered breakfast in America. Mexicans find a way to make breakfast an adventure. Having limitless options makes for a very happy morning.

    Great Post!!!

  3. Love it. Making Chilaquiles & a Vampiro for myself this morning.

  4. And Mexico retorts:

    “Brunch? That’s a weak excuse for breakfast in the middle of the morning. Just call it what it is: a late breakfast ending at the time a good breakfast normally would end, after postprandial coffee and conversation.”

    So the answer to American brunch is… the Mexican Power Breakfast! This is where a lot of business is transacted, at a downtown hotel buffet starting at 8:00AM and ending at 1:00PM, at which time it is not frowned on to end with a digestif, such as anise on the rocks or Licor 43. It has all the accouterments of Mexican breakfast, plus all the wimpy American fare, and more. Embrace and extend…

    I’ve really enjoyed your blog, Sierra. I ended up here after listening to some of your Purépecha recordings. I myself am a American-Mexican[*] currently living in Seattle, but brought up in Mexico City.

    I miss doing business during a Mexican Power Breakfast. Fun, tasty, and, contrary to some people’s perceptions, where you can *really* do a lot of work, and not only like boozy sales lunches, but actual meetings and work. I used to treat my team to breakfast for our monthly internal status and steering meetings. We’d cross to the fancy hotel across the street from the office and get a lot of work done over chilaquiles con carne and Belgian waffles.

    Marco A. Zamora

    [*] If Americans of Mexican descent, living in the US, are called Mexican-Americans, then I like to say I’m an American-Mexican, a Mexican of American descent brought up in Mexico.

    • You make a good point…the Mexican Power Breakfast might just tip the balance on this one…My two nephews are American-Mexicans too. Glad you miraculously found my blog off in this little corner of the internet and that you’ve enjoyed it!

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