Friday, December 23, 2016

Breakfast with Bond

“James Bond’s favorite meal of the day was breakfast,” Tom Weiss wrote. “It was also the favorite meal of Ian Fleming, 007’s creator. Fleming made breakfast not only ‘Bond’s favorite meal of the day,’ but also ‘an important part of Bond’s day.’ This was not mere rhetoric. Among the five hundred meals mentioned in the entire Bond oeuvre, 115 were breakfasts, eighty of them described in appetizing detail.
“When Bond was at home, breakfast consisted of a single perfectly boiled egg, toast with jam, and coffee. It ‘was always the same’ (From Russia with Love). Of course, as a gourmand, Bond could not have an ordinary egg, or just any old jam or coffee — he had exacting standards. The egg came from a French Marans hen, was speckled brown, and boiled for three and one-third minutes. The toast was whole wheat, usually two thick slices with Jersey butter, and there would be three confitures available: Tiptree “Little Scarlet” strawberry jam, Coopers Vintage Oxford marmalade, and Norwegian honey. When in London, the coffee had to come from De Bry on New Oxford Street, and was served only in Menton china…”
“When faced with death, what did Bond eat for breakfast? In Live and Let Die, desperately trying to stay out of the clutches of Mr. Big and his henchmen, Bond ordered room service at the St. Regis in New York: pineapple juice, cornflakes, shirred eggs and bacon, toast with marmalade, and a double espresso. When it arrived, it dawned on him that he had ordered the hearty breakfast of a condemned man. This marked one of the only times Bond had cereal, and the only time he ate shirred eggs. Most of the time, he preferred his eggs scrambled, not shirred.”
By the way, I can see why James Bond stayed in shape. By American standards, Bond’s typical breakfast in his plane-tree’d flat off the King’s Road is nothing much. By postwar English standards, it was lavish.

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