The controversial and widely refuted claim was made by US historian, Paul Garfunkel yesterday. A history don at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Garfunkel claims that the 'traditional' full English breakfast as we know it today, was actually invented in Brooklyn, New York, by an Italian restaurateur in the 1870's.
"It's true," Professor Garfunkel stated confidently. "In Britain, up until the time Salvatore Gambini created the 'full English,' the Brits tended to eat bacon and eggs. Gambini added an Italian twist to the dish by adding tomatoes, mushrooms, sausage, blood sausage, baked beans, toast, fried bread, and a mug of coffee."
Further research, according to Garfunkel, revealed that the dish was designed to appeal to lower class immigrants, who needed something substantial in their bellies before going about their daily labours, which were usually of a manual nature, and physically, pretty demanding.
"Gambini considered calling it the 'Hybrid' breakfast," Garfunkel revealed. "But he settled on 'English' because he wanted it to appeal to the lowest common denominator - the English. Contemporary reports reveal that a Belfast couple visited Gambini's restaurant, and upon returning to Belfast, they popularised the 'English' dish by opening a cafe and selling the meal all day. Then it spread across the water to England, Scotland and Wales. But it really is an American invention. Put together by an Italian immigrant."
The claims were roundly condemned across the Atlantic by Yorkshire 'Chips n Gravy' campaigner, Ken Mither, a vociferous advocate of traditional British greasy spoon cuisine.
"By the bloody left," Mither fumed, as he lit his pipe and slumped in an armchair in shock. "What a load of old codswallop. We've been having the full English, or its Scottish and Welsh variants since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. While the Yanks were busy playing cowboys and Indians. I'm reet bloody gobsmacked at the brass necked cheek of it all. Next news, they'll be tellin' us that the Australians invented pie and mushy peas, the Italians gave us fish and chips, and the Spaniards gave us black pudding. What a load of old bollocks!"
When informed of Ken Mither's scathing response to his claims, Professor Garfunkel had a snappy response prepared.
"Ask the flat cap wearing mo-fo whose ketchup they use?" he said.
More as we get it.