Saturday, 28 November 2015

30 days in November 28...

Aujourd'hui c'est:

French toast day

French toast, yes or no? It's also known as gypsy toast, Spanish toast, German toast and good old eggy bread as we call it in Blighty. This delicacy of a snack is made from bread soaked in beaten eggs and then fried in butter or oil. There are loads of variations and you can eat it topped with fruit, bacon, beans, dripping in syrup or jam, thickly spread with chocolate spread or peanut butter, or you can just eat it au naturel. It’s best to use stale bread because the staler the bread the more it will soak up the eggy mixture without falling apart. Personally I’m not that keen on it, but that’s just me. No offence to the French, not that it’s really a French concoction.

It’s a very old dish, a Latin recipe book dating from the 4th or 5th century mentions bread soaked in milk and later eggs joined the milk mix. It had loads of fancy names in the various European courts: suppe dorate, soupys yn dorye, tostées dorées, payn purdyeu, and was widely eaten all over medieval Europe.

So it appears that French Toast isn’t French at all and predates the founding of France, which might explain why the Germans and Spanish lay claim to it too. According to legend it was dreamed up by an American and the modern French Toast was invented in Albany, New York, by an innkeeper named Joseph French. He created the dish in 1724, and advertised it as ‘French Toast’. But Joe French was grammatically challenged and didn’t use the required apostrophe, hence the whole world thinks that French Toast is a French delicacy and Joe doesn’t get the credit for his egged bread concoction.

It’s strange how these misconceptions come about. French fries were actually invented in Belgium where potatoes were being fried in the late1600s. Of course the French also lay claim to them, but what’s in a name? I was in America when the French refused to join in the Iraq war and suddenly French Fries became Freedom Fries overnight as many American restaurants and hotels refused to use that particular ‘F’ word. That all seems a bit silly now in the light of recent terrible events in Paris.

So there you have it, French toast in a nutshell. I wonder what it tastes like smothered in Nutella?


  1. Lindsey Messenger on FB
    Mmmm love eggy bread

    Andrew Height
    Any toppings?

    Lindsey Messenger
    No ... And not sure about the Nutella.

    Andrew Height
    Bacon and cheese though? Even I might like it then.

    Lindsey Messenger
    Ooo yes like the bacon idea.

    Andrew Height
    With maple syrup?

    Lindsey Messenger
    Ummmm.... No don't think so.

    Andrew Height
    Actually You'd be surprised, crispy bacon with a little syrup is good. I tried it in the US.

    Lindsey Messenger
    Mmmm maybe worth giving a try one day

    Andrew Height
    smile emoticon

  2. Lynda Henderson on FB
    Use stale French bread cut lengthwise and spread Nutella add some crispy bacon, put back together and then slice into 3/4" slices. Dip in eggy mixture and cook in a skillet! You can omit bacon and use banana. Very nice, my sons favourite I prefer savory and so I dip stale bread in a mixture of egg and a little Parmesan and sauté it in olive oil smile emoticon


    1. Andrew Height
      Liking the sound of the Parmesan Lynda!