Sunday, December 29, 2013

Random Fact #11: French Toast

Yesterday, we were deciding on what to make for breakfast today.  My mom suggested French toast.  I thought that was good.  My mom wanted to know the origins of French toast.  So I went on a search of the origins.

French toast was not invented in France.  In fact, it was invented long before France was a country.  The exact origins are unknown.  With people not wanting to waste food, putting stale bread in a milk and egg mixture was a way to use up the bread.  The earliest known reference to doing this dates back to 4th century Rome.  It was in a cookbook and attributed to Apicius.  The style of French toast was callec Pan Dulcis.  Today, many countries make it this way.

Throughout the middle ages, it became a common practice.  They used primarily stale bread.  The term French toast means "pain perdu" meaning "lost bread."  It is called this in various places around the world.  Before the French called it pain perdu, they called it "pain ala Romaine" meanining Roman bread.

One myth about French toast is that it came from America.  The story told is that in 1724, chef Joseph French first made it.  French was never good at grammar and when named it, he simply forgot the apostrophe.  It ended up being Frenchs rather than French's.

There are many cookbooks from the middle ages in Europe that give the classical French toast recipe.  The name French pre-dates the 18th century.  The earliest known references is in the mid-17th century which is well before the story of Joseph French.  Before that time it was called German bread, Spanish bread, and various other names.  Only some had anything to do with countries.

So there you have it, a history of French toast.

Source: Today I Found Out

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