Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dear What Is Breakfast Committee,

I recently witnessed my boss eating what appeared to be some form of reheated left-overs, quite possibly containing a chicken dish. This occurred between 10-11am on a Tuesday. I wanted to ask him if it was breakfast, but then realized that I didn't actually care. So I defer my question to your expertise.

Grossed Out By the Thought of Leftovers for Breakfast

Chanelle: I can easily sympathize with your hesitations regarding this case, as several facets appear ambiguous. Firstly, not being certain of the actual dish consumed must, in some small measure, hinder our assessment. However, despite the recent (and dubious) southern-style-chicken-for-breakfast campaign proliferated by McDonald's, I maintain that meals involving chicken are quite unorthodox in the breakfast-food realm. Another relevant factor here lies in the fact that the leftovers were "reheated." Though not perhaps healthy, it is common practice among certain demographics (read, undergraduates) to eat leftovers from the previous evening's dinner upon first waking up. Take out / delivery meals such as pizza and Chinese food are popular options. When resorted to for morning sustenance in a knowing, jaunty, even devil-may-care manner by the young (defined here as 18-22 for females and 14-37 for males), these foodstuffs can be loosely defined as breakfast. But it is crucial in this case that the comestibles in question remain cold and are eaten straight from the refrigerator, for reheating, it is to be insisted, is a function of lunch. It would be easy, then, to categorize the chicken leftovers mentioned here as "lunch," were it not for the vexing problem of timeframe. Alas, I must argue that while the 11 am - noon hour can be rightly considered "early lunch," the preceding hour is simply too early for anything but traditional breakfast cuisine, midmorning pastry snackfoods, or the category of brunch*. Final vote: Not Breakfast.

I defer to my co-chair's greater familiarity with the Leftovers for Breakfast genre. Although I would in some cases take issue with the validity of the genre as a whole, I do not find it helpful to explore that distinction at this juncture, since we have arrived at the same decision regardless. Also, wow - she knows a lot of big words**.
Final vote:
Not Breakfast.

The Committee's Final Decision Is:

Reheated Leftovers (possibly chicken) between the hours of 10 am and 11 am are Not Breakfast.

* It may be wondered why the chicken leftovers may not be classified in the more generous category of brunch, and while this would more properly be a matter for the Subcommittee on That Which Distinguishes Brunch from Breakfast and Lunch, I would submit that there is a generally-accepted cannon of foods associated with that meal, and (as we have seen in the case of breakfast) chicken is rarely involved.



rae said...

I'm kind of offended. I often eat chicken leftovers for breakfast. I'm pretty sure that's what you're supposed to do as a college student.

jls said...

Although Chanelle did make certain allowances for college students (undergraduates) in her response, she still drew the line at reheation. I personally could considered chicken in the morning a meal, but never breakfast. However, I've been told I'm the more severe member of the committee.

Do you reheat your chicken leftovers for breakfast?