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Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

 
 
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 06:24 pm
My friend and I were debating over how do you consider what meal is called what. What defines / titles a meal Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. We narrowed in down to 3 factors but haven't been able to solidify a concrete / definitive answer.
1. Time of Day: Before 12:00pm = Breakfast, Before 5:00pm = Lunch, after 6:00pm = Dinner.
2. Number of meal eaten in a day: 1st meal = Breakfast, 2nd meal = Lunch, 3rd meal = dinner.
3. Type of Food: Scrambled Eggs = Breakfast, Sandwich = Lunch, Steak = Dinner.

Obviously there are exceptions and asterisks, but if you have any insight I would love some discussion!
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 06:35 pm
@SeanyeWest3,
Those descriptions do not do it justice. That's because people can eat 'breakfast' (eggs, pancake, cereal, oatmeal, coffee) food for lunch, dinner or midnight snack. What foods are eaten during breakfast, lunch or dinner are interchangeable; there are no strict rules. That's because many people have different work hours where staff must be available 24/7. Meal times and what are eaten can be a bit confusing.

Okay, that was a cheap shot.

However, your list is as close to accurate as I can see (and my vision isn't all that good).
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 06:36 pm
@SeanyeWest3,
Lots of regional and cultural factors.

In the part of Canada I come from, dinner is the largest meal of the day that isn't breakfast. So, generally, the mid-day meal is dinner.

I have eggs in the evening more often than in the morning.

Some cultures have 5 or 7 official meals in a day - they have other names.

Lots of factors.
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luismtzzz
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2014 06:42 pm
@SeanyeWest3,
As a mexican i can add that it can be divided by the type of tacos:

Steamed corn tortilla, or pan cooked flour tortilla: Breakfast

Fancy dressed with colourful salsa corn tortilla tacos: Lunch

Flour tortilla with grilled meat: Dinner
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 06:54 am
@luismtzzz,
As a Japanese, we're sort of like the Mexicans, except we eat rice rather than tortilla for our three meals. What we eat with the rice sort of determines whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner. Flied lice any one?
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chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 08:25 am
Well, first off, the last meal of the day is supper, not dinner.

Second, I seldom eat sandwiches for lunch.

Thirdly, I never/rarely eat upper before 6pm. To me, that's the kind of thing you do if you have small children that can't wait. I usually eat supper between 7pm and 8pm.

The OP has some pretty rigid ideas about food.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 08:47 am
IMO dinner is the major meal of the day. If a person eats dinner in the afternoon, a light meal at night is supper. If the dinner is eaten in the evening, the meal in the afternoon is lunch.

Some people eat brunch, often on a non work day. It is eaten in the late morning, and is sort of a combined breakfast and lunch.

The British (and a very traditional hotel where I have stayed a number of times) have high tea. That is served around four, and consists of tea and cake, cookies or pastries.

jack88
 
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Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 08:50 am
@SeanyeWest3,
Often people eat more food than you listed in the beginning.
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Lustig Andrei
 
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Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 09:53 am
ehBeth makes a good point re: this being, at least partly, a cultural thing. Whether you call the last meal of the day 'dinner' or 'supper' depends strictly on who you are and where you live. In rural New England, it's the mid-day meal that's generally referred to as 'dinner'; 'lunch' is thought to be a kind of pretantious word, never mind 'luncheon.' Smile And in the UK, of course, there's generally a fourth mid-afternoon meal known as 'tea.' Something similar to 'tea' (but usually not called that) is also commonplace in some parts of rural Eastern Europe. And who says that eggs are strictly -- or even primarily -- a breakfast item? That is strictly a cultural thing peculiar to certain predominantly Anglo-Saxon societies.
chai2
 
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Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 12:39 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Andy, I've heard that before about the word "lunch" being pretentious. Why is that?

I'm curious.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 01:35 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:

Andy, I've heard that before about the word "lunch" being pretentious. Why is that?getting out

I'm curious.


It's just not in common use in some cultures and anything uncommon is often considered showy or pretentious. Bostonians say 'lunch', not Maine or Vermont farmers, however.

Another thing about lunch -- the o.p. mentions sandwiches as a determining factor. 'Taint necessarily so. To some extent this, too, is a cultural or, more properly, socio-economic thing. In many societies only blue-collar workers customarily have sandwiches for their mid-day meal. White-collar types in the professions or in commerce, as a general rule, stop eating sandwiches for lunch right after graduating from school and opt for hot meals at their local pub.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 01:36 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
We love to cruise on Oceania Cruises because they have afternoon tea at 4pm in the Horizon room.

Quote:
Four o’clock in the afternoon is recognized as teatime the world over. It’s a ritual that harkens back to 19th-century England. But few teatimes are as anticipated and inspired as ours, a celebratory daily event that irresistibly draws guests to Horizons. As a classical string quartet plays softly in the background, the stage is set for our staff to display our pastry chefs’ prodigious talents. Freshly made finger sandwiches, colorful petit fours, richly textured scones, and wonderfully sinful desserts are lovingly presented on bountiful tiered pastry carts. Of course, an equally tempting selection of tea, that most quintessential of English beverages, is served. Sit back, enjoy the grace and civility of the moment, and take in the panoramic views.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 01:43 pm
@Phoenix32890,
Even in Britain it differs where you live ... and what "class" you belong to:
Breakfast, Dinner, Tea > Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner > Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and/or Supper.
"Tea" still is for some the evening meal. And if you have a "Supper" at 10pm, it just might consist of some sandwiches and crackers with cheese - plus a cup of tea.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 01:51 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
In Germany, we had had breakfast, at noon the main meal, 'lunch', and supper in the evening (bread/rolls with cheeses and sausages.
Many had in between a second breakfast and coffee/cake/biscuits in the afternoon.

While afternoon coffee with various cakes and pastries is considered typical German, in the Bergisches Land (Country of Berg, east of Rhine river, south of the Ruhr) a "Bergische Kaffeetafel" consists of a lot of coffee, sweet yeast buns (with or without raisins), various black and rye breads, sweet spreads as well as hearty things to put on your bread like honey, pear- or apple butter or sugar beet butter, are joined with butter, quark, and cheese, in addition to blood pudding and liverwurst, ham as well as various cakes and, in some places, boiled or scrambled eggs. Another essential item: rice pudding with cinnamon and sugar and freshly baked Bergish waffles with hot sour cherries.

When I'd been in the navy in the 70's, we just got coffee and biscuits in the afternoon ... besides on Thursday, which was called (a tradition since at least 1727) "seamen's Sunday", when we got cakes and tarts.
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Linkat
 
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Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 02:08 pm
@SeanyeWest3,
I don't think specific time, but around a certain time - I'd say breakfast would typically be early meal (maybe an hour or so after waking) - calling it 1st mean doesn't work as some people skip breakfast. And sometimes you have brunch instead of breakfast. I could see also classifying it by food type. Even though sometimes people eat typical breakfast meals at other times of the day, often times they will then refer to it as breakfast for dinner or similar.

Lunch is usually mid day -- lighter than a dinner, informal and not the main meal.

Dinner can be used at any time mid day to evening - usually referring to the main meal of the day or some formal dining event.

Then to put a twist in it - you have supper - which is like lunch (more informal and lighter than a dinner) but typically late afternoon/evening.

And of course there is tea (afternoon tea or high tea probably other types of tea); there is dim sum; there is my favorite made up one Linner or I suppose you could call it Lupper - a take off of Brunch and I'm sure a whole bunch of other types depending on ones cultural.
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Lash
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 08:46 am
I'm trying to figure this out. When I was little, my family and I spent a lot of time with my grandmothers - and took MANY meals with them, especially during the summer.

There was no lunch. Nobody ever said "let's go to lunch at grandma's." There was breakfast, dinner and supper. I think lunch connotes a light meal, something neither of those women was capable of accomplishing. Every time we met at the table, it was a full-metal throwdown of one or two meats, three vegetables, breads and cakes or pies.

Supper was never the mid-day meal.

This is southeast Georgia.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 08:49 am
@chai2,
I think it may be how it's used. When I hear people saying let's *do* lunch, I wanna barf. I've heard lunch used as a verb. *retch*.
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