The History of French Toast


by Matt Howard


French Toast has become a favorite breakfast meal in the United States as well as abroad for decades. There's a surprisingly large selection of methods to prepare this tasty breakfast meal. Yet a lot of people have never thought of how this morning treat came into existence. In order to truly appreciate this delightful meal, we should explore the fabled history of French toast.

French toast is recognized by a number of names such as Poor Knights, American toast, Spanish toast, Easter toast and eggy bread. In Cajun circles, French toast is recognized as pain perdu or ameritte. In England it's known as Poor Knights. It's because, since only the wealthy were offered dessert, the lower group knights will feed on their Poor Knights bread, what's similar to today's French toast, together with jam. In China, it is named by 2 names; French toast or Western toast, and it is deep-fried and served with syrup and butter.

French toast tasty recipes were found in cook books way back to the Middle Ages, creating several speculate that this meal had been made sometime before that. Cook books were held by the wealthy only and the poor were unlikely to have discovered from them. Instead, the working class would pass down the recipe form generation to generation, which makes it tough to determine the exact period of origin.

White bread, in which the very first French toast recipes called for, was the best bread available at the time. In Roman days, French toast was known as la Romaine, or Roman bread, and was served along with honey. It possibly gained the name "French toast" from the French pain perdu, which usually translates to lost or stale bread. Several believe French toast is the precursor to bread pudding.

Although the specific origins of it are unclear, several think it came into being during medieval times once cooks would be forced to use every ingredient available because they were way too poor to throw anything away. For that reason, old bread would be moistened, most likely with eggs or milk, and then deep-fried in order to be made palatable.

The first mention of French toast in the United States is in 1871. Legend has it that it had been sometimes known as German toast prior to world war two, but the title was changed because of anti-German sentiment. Yet another well-liked story is the fact that it got its title in 1742 from Joseph French, an Albany, NY restauranteur that named his version of the recipe after himself.

One thing is for sure, nowadays French toast is a well known American breakfast custom. It's served sliced up in sticks at fast food restaurants, in huge thick fluffy servings in diners, as well as in the houses of most Americans. Numerous households have at least one member who boasts the title of "greatest French toast maker" with tasty recipes and secret ingredients which they keep dear. Even so you cut it, French toast is here to remain.




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