Breakfast Proteins

Several breakfast protein foods are from the pork family, including ham, bacon, and sausage. Eggs are another common breakfast protein food. These protein foods are often served together. Frequently, breakfast protein foods are served with a bread or potato choice to round out the meal.

Types of Meats

Typical breakfast meats that are found on foodservice menus include ham, bacon, Canadian bacon, sausage, hash, and steak, although there are many other protein-based breakfast possibilities, such as smoked salmon, tofu, and turkey bacon. The best way to ensure a quality breakfast protein food is to use high-quality meats.

Ham and Bacon

Precooked ham is most often used as a breakfast meat. Slices of ham are either browned under a broiler or warmed on a griddle. When cooking breakfast ham in large quantities, it is often baked.

Bacon comes from the side of a pig, and is cured and often smoked for flavor. Most foodservice operations purchase pork bacon that is already sliced, although it is also available in whole slabs. In addition to pork bacon, turkey bacon is available in many restaurants for customers who want a breakfast meat with less fat. Smoky flavored bacons, such as hickory smoked, are available. Bacon may be served thin- or thick-sliced. The thickness is specified by the number of slices per pound. The average number of slices per pound is 18 to 22.

Canadian Bacon

Canadian bacon is a breakfast meat that comes from boneless pork loin. It is smoked and brined, and has a thin layer of fat on its surface. Canadian bacon is cut smaller than ham slices, but it is cooked and served in a similar way to ham.


Sausage is usually made of ground pork that has been seasoned and stuffed into casings. Sausage is served in links or formed into patties. Links have a longer shelf life than patties because links have casings that keep the meat from drying out. Some sausages may be made from turkey or chicken.


Hash is chopped meat that is mixed with potatoes, onions, and seasonings that is usually fried together until lightly browned. Most hashes are made from corned beef, although some are made with roast beef. Hash is often served with eggs.


Steak is commonly paired with eggs for a hearty breakfast. Round tip steaks are often used for breakfast. This cut is from near the tenderloin so it is very tender.

Breakfast Combinations Breakfast meats accompany many standard breakfast menu items. What combinations are most appealing to you?

I I^REIT.11 Egg Grades

Egg Quality Egg grading is based on the quality of the yolk, white, and shell. What are the differences between egg yolk and egg white?





Yo Ik is firm, centered in the shell, holds its shape, and stands up high; white is clear and thick, so it does not spread out over a large area

Poaching, frying, hard- or soft-cooked

when broken in the pan; shell is clean, normal shape


Thinner than AA, so it spreads slightly when broken in the pan;

Hard- or soft-cooked

fairly firm yolk; clear white


Less firm yolk and white, so the egg does not hold its shape in the pan and spreads over a wide area; yolk is large and flat; shell may be slightly stained or an abnormal shape

Scrambled eggs; baking

Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein. They can be prepared in many different ways to suit various tastes. An egg has three main parts: the shell, the yolk, and the white.

• Shell Like any shell, an eggshell protects the egg's content. Eggshells range in color from white to brown, and they vary in thickness and how porous they are. The color of the eggshell indicates the type of chicken that laid the egg. However, it does not affect the interior color of the egg or the taste.

• Yolk The yolk, almost one-third of the egg's weight, contains fat and protein, along with vitamins and iron. Most of an egg's calories and all of its cholesterol and fat are found in the yolk. The color of the yolk depends on the diet of the chicken.

• White Two-thirds of an egg is made of the clear white, or albumin (al-'byü-msn). The thickest part of the white surrounds the yolk. Riboflavin (,rl-b9-'flä-v9n) (vitamin B2) and more than half of the protein of the egg are found in the white. It is clear and soluble when the egg is uncooked, but becomes white and firm when cooked.

Eggs may look solid, but they are actually very porous ('pdr-ss). Porous means that flavors and odors can be absorbed through the shell and that the egg can lose moisture even when the shell is unbroken. For this reason, eggs need to be stored carefully. They should be kept away from foods, such as onions, with a strong odor. Eggs will keep for several weeks if stored at 36°F (2°C).

Egg Grades and Quality

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is responsible for grading eggs according to three grades: Grade AA, Grade A, and Grade B. These grades designate, or are a sign of, several qualities, such as an egg's appearance when it is cracked into a pan, and the characteristics of the yolk, the white, and the shell. (See Figure 17.1.)

Size Size is part of the grading process. There are six categories: jumbo (30 ounces), extra large (27 ounces), large (24 ounces), medium (21 ounces), small (18 ounces), and peewee (15 ounces). The size is not determined per egg, but by the weight per dozen. (See Figure 17.2 on page 434.)

Big or Small? The size range of eggs is determined by the weight per dozen. Why would you use smaller eggs rather than larger ones?

Forms of Eggs

Eggs are sold in three forms: fresh, frozen, and dried. Each form has particular uses. Egg substitutes are available for people with dietary concerns such as high cholesterol. One egg substitute is made with albumin and a vegetable substitute for the yolk. Eggs are used in many recipes to thicken, bind, and add moisture, color, and flavor.

Fresh Eggs Fresh eggs are used in commercial kitchens and for home use. The appearance of a poached egg is better when the egg is fresh because the yolk gets flatter as it ages.

Frozen Eggs Frozen eggs are high-quality fresh eggs that are pasteurized ('pas-chs-rïzd) and then frozen. Pasteurized egg products are heated at very high temperatures for a short time to destroy bacteria. They come in large containers and need to thaw for a couple of days in the refrigerator before they can be cooked. Frozen Grade A eggs are often used in commercial kitchens for scrambled eggs

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