Going out to a restaurant for breakfast or brunch is a treat that is beloved by many. Reviewing the menu and choosing what decadent meal to start your day with is part of the thrill. One of the more popular choices on the menu is of course French toast. This simple, yet versatile choice is deep rooted in history and has been around since the Roman Empire.
The foundation of French toast in the Roman Empire was bread soaked in a milk and egg mixture followed by frying it in butter or oil. On this timeline from kulicksfrenchtoastrecipes.com called 24 Fun Facts About French Toast, you will notice as you keep moving throughout history, many slightly different French toast variations pop up along the way.
A cookbook by Apicius from the 4th century had a recipe for “aliter dulcia” or “another sweet dish”. The recipe called for fine white bread broken into large pieces with the crust removed. After the bread was broken, it was placed into a mixture of milk and egg to soak. It was then fried in oil and covered with honey.
Moving into the 14th century an English cookbook had a similar dish called Payn Fondew. This variation of this dish called for the bread to be soaked in wine instead of a milk and egg mixture before it was fried. It was often flavored with raisins, sugar, spice and candied coriander seeds.
Another twist from early in history was found in a cookbook from 1660 named The Accomplisht Cook. This French toast recipe left out eggs in its liquid mixture but had the bread soaking in wind, sugar and orange juice before it was fried. The next time you are sitting down and browsing the menu at your favorite morning spot, and you indulge in French toast.
Remember its long history and how that dish got to where it is today. You may even find a fun option with wine to give a try.