A Brief History of Toast
“The ancient Egyptians, around 6000 years ago, were the first to develop the bread that we know today. They realised that if they let the bread sit out in Egypt’s warm climate it would rise, and when baked would retain its risen shape. However, they also noticed that after a few days in the dry desert air, the bread would become hard and unpleasant to eat.
“Toasting bread in ancient times was a means of preserving it. The Romans spread the idea of toast throughout Europe, even into Britain, and the colonists brought toast to the Americas. The word ‘toast,’ in fact, comes from the Latin word tostum, meaning scorch or burn. Toast is essentially burnt bread, so the name makes sense.
“Exciting new developments occur everyday involving the future of toast. Progress has been made in areas such as talking toasters that respond to voice commands regarding bread darkness. Some have even worked on a brilliant perpetual motion theory involving cats and buttered toast. Alright, maybe this last one wouldn’t work, but you never know until you try. There is also word of a toaster that burns weather predictions into the side of your toast. It gets the predictions by means of an Internet connection.” – BBC
- Cinnamon toast is an American comfort food. In case you need a recipe, see Cinnamon Toast Tested Recipe.
- For an unbelievable index of toast recipes, it would be difficult to beat this page on a web site called dr. toast: toast recipes.
- Natalie at Super Healthy Kids offers a nice collection of 20 kid-friendly and healthy toast toppings.
- Find 50 simple savory and sweet ideas for mingle-friendly toast toppers from Food Network Magazine. See Easy Toast Toppers: Food Network.
- Britain seems a natural home for the artisan toast trend. According to the Oxford Companion to Food: “Toast has a long history in Britain. ‘Tost’ was much used in the middle ages, being made in the ordinary way in an open fire.” If you have ever watched Midsommer Murders, you will realize the importance of toast and jams in English cuisine. From an article on The Guardian:
- Tonia George sells artisan toast at her two Ginger & White cafes in London. For £3.50 you get two slices of Flour Station sourdough toast, Somerset salted butter and jars of homemade peanut butter (“completely fresh, no preservatives”) and English jams.
- At Gail’s, a growing chain of bakeries, you pay £2.50 for two slices of toast (from a selection of 30 kinds of freshly baked loaves), Lescure butter and organic French jam.
How Do You Like Your Toast?
One of my favorites is cinnamon bread, toasted and topped with orange marmalade. I love the combination of flavors – cinnamon and orange go so well together.
How about you? What are your favorite breads and toppings?