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I recently visited Ukraine with a friend. One night we stayed at a hotel that served meals. In the morning, we came down to breakfast and were surprised to be served a carbonara-type pasta dish–not what we would normally have considered breakfast food. We asked our guide, and he said that Ukrainians don't separate foods into different meals and just eat whatever, whenever.

How common is it for people to not have the concept of certain ‘breakfast food’?

This article goes through common breakfasts from different countries, but most seem to be uniquely breakfast-y (except for Korea).

This one claims that the US is in the minority in having unique breakfast foods and suggests that ‘poorer people everywhere, especially in places like India and China, eat the same kind of food for meal after meal’.

Ukraine doesn't get a mention on the Wikipedia article on ‘Breakfast’, so I can't even verify what the guide said about it–maybe it was just the hotel we were in's approach–to be fair, the hotel was in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone so I can imagine food options might be limited.

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    I'm not sure this is answerable. I'm in the UK. I eat toast, cereal or bacon for breakfast. I never eat cold meat or cheese… but I only have to go as far as Germany to be served that as a 'standard'. Last time I was in the US my hosts made a special effort to get some English Muffins… which I'd never heard of, or seen in my life before. [I do, incidentally eat last night's take-away, pizza or curry, usually microwaved ;)
    – unlisted
    Oct 30 '19 at 18:55
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    It also depends on what you consider "specific breakfast foods". For example, in Nepal it's common to have roti and chana masala for breakfast, but you also might eat those at other times of day. So is that a specific "breakfast food" or not? And ...
    – FuzzyChef
    Oct 30 '19 at 19:27
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    ... also consider that many things now considered "breakfast foods" in England and the US were not invented that way (waffles, for example), and remain not-breakfast foods in their place of origin.
    – FuzzyChef
    Oct 30 '19 at 19:28
  • Old time Yugoslavia, before the breakup, used to serve things such as lasagna for breakfast. Zagreb and Dubrovnik areas. There did not seem to be a lot of differentiation between daybreak and suppertime. Oct 30 '19 at 23:04
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    Beyond an answer like "some people differentiate between breakfast and other meals, some don't," I'm not sure what a good answer would look like. Really, I think a lot of people even in the US draw some distinction, but not strictly: steak is dinner, but steak and eggs can be breakfast. I'm happy to eat pizza (often cold) for breakfast, but some other Americans think that's odd. Lots of Americans will eat a bowl of "breakfast" cereal for dinner. A lot of it boils down to convenience and habit.
    – Caleb
    Oct 31 '19 at 16:33
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In Japan the word for rice is gohan, breakfast is asa gohan, meaning "morning rice". Dinner is ban gohan. You get the idea - rice is the traditional part of every meal.

Traditional Japanese breakfast food would be rice, fish, miso soup, vegetables, pickles. Which is a lot like a traditional lunch. More recently western breakfasts foods have been taken up some, so the concept of separate breakfast food is more of a thing.

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