Interesting facts about toast

Toast is a form of bread that has been browned by toasting, that is, exposure to radiant heat.

The browning is the result of a Maillard reaction, altering the flavor of the bread and making it firmer so that it is easier to spread toppings on it.

Toasting is a common method of making stale bread more palatable.

Bread is often toasted using a toaster, but toaster ovens are also used.

Pre-sliced bread is most common.

Toast is a common breakfast food.

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.

Before the development of the electric toaster, sliced bread was toasted by placing it in a metal frame or on a long-handled toasting-fork and holding it near a fire or over a kitchen grill.

The invention of electricity led to the invention of the modern toaster.

Utensils for toasting bread over open flames appeared in the early 19th century, including decorative implements made from wrought iron.

The first electric bread toaster was invented by Alan MacMasters in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1893.

The first commercially successful toaster appeared in 1909.

The first automatic, or ‘pop-up’, toaster for the home was the Toastmaster, developed in 1926. There was even a knob that the user turned to determine the degree of darkness. The Toastmaster caused quite a stir, and along with the invention of sliced bread, it helped open the age of the automatic toaster.

By the 1940s, most toasters were automatic.

Today, most homes (about 90% in the US) have a toaster.

Toast is commonly eaten with butter or margarine, and sweet toppings, such as jam or jelly.

A few other condiments that can be enjoyed with toast are chocolate spread, cream cheese, and peanut butter. Yeast extracts such as Marmite in the UK, New Zealand and South Africa, and Vegemite in Australia are national traditions.

In the United Kingdom, toast is part of a traditional breakfast: it’s often incorporated in a full breakfast or eaten with baked beans. A dish popular with children there is a soft-boiled egg eaten with toast soldiers at breakfast. Strips of toast (the soldiers) are dipped into the runny yolk of a
boiled egg through a hole made in the top of the eggshell, and eaten.

In southern Sri Lanka, it is common for toast to be paired with a curry soup and mint tea.

In Japan, people like to toast thick slices of bread. Toast became a staple dish in Japan after World War II, especially after it was introduced in school lunches.

Street vendors in South Korea serve toast with a variety of toppings, usually fried eggs, vegetables and slices of meat, topped with sauces. Korean toast is to be eaten as a sandwich.

In Southeast Asia, coconut jam is a popular spread for toast.

Aartisanal toast is a significant food trend in upscale American cities like San Francisco, where some commentators decried the increasing number of restaurants and bakeries selling freshly made toast at what was perceived to be an unreasonably high price.

Bread toasted in a conventional toaster can “sweat” when it is served (i.e. water collects on the surface of the cooled toast). This occurs because moisture in the bread becomes steam while being toasted due to heat and when cooled the steam condenses into water droplets on the surface of the
bread.

Bagels and English muffins are also toasted.

French toast is a dish traditionally made of stale bread soaked in eggs whisked with milk then fried. French toast was not invented in France. In fact, French toast was around long before France even existed as a country. The exact origins of French toast are unknown, but it isn’t surprising that
humans seem to have come up with the recipe quickly, given that French toast is traditionally made out of stale bread.

The buttered toast phenomenon is an observation that buttered toast tends to land butter-side down after it falls. It is used as an idiom representing pessimistic outlooks. Various people have attempted to determine whether there is an actual tendency for bread to fall in this fashion, with varying results.

The word “toast,” in fact, comes from the Latin word “tostum,” meaning “to burn or scorch.”

The first reference to toast in print is in a recipe for Oyle Soppys (flavoured onions stewed in a gallon of stale beer and a pint of oil) from 1430.

In the 1400s and 1500s, toast was discarded or eaten after it was used as a flavoring for drinks.

In the 1600s, toast was still thought of as something to be put into drinks.

In his 1602 play The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare gives Falstaff the line: “Go fetch me a quart of sack – put a toast in’t.” Toast has been used as an element of American haute cuisine since at least the 1850s.

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