A Brief History of French Toast, Our Favorite Brunch Dish at Hearthstone
Ok, let’s see a show of hands for everyone in the audience that love’s French toast. We’re not surprised by the masses of hands we’re seeing in the air. That’s because practically everyone loves this decadent, luscious brunch staple, and why wouldn’t they? After all, with the basic ingredients being bread, cream, and eggs, there really isn’t any way for this to go wrong.
The beauty of French toast is that it requires such simple ingredients that are staples in most kitchens, yet there are so many ways to customize it and fashion it into an easy, elegant dish that delights and impresses every single time. So, now that we’ve expressed our fondness of French toast, it’s time to answer the pressing question that’s on everyone’s mind – is French toast really French?
Spoiler alert. The answer is no, but the true history of the famous breakfast dish is a little sketchy. Turns out French toast has been turning up on plates all around the world, even long before France was even a thing. Grab your forks and take a quick tour of the history of French toast with us.
Earliest Sightings of French Toast
If you’re thinking that French toast originated in some quaint little French café, you’re a little off track. What we know about the origins of French toast is that it was making an appearance in the Roman empire as early as the 5th century AD. In those days, the treasured dish was referred to as aliter dulcia, which roughly translates to sweet dish. No surprise there.
According to legend, the first French toast was a pretty basic, simple preparation. The bread of the time was thick and hearty, so the Romans would dip in a creamy milk mixture, sans egg, and fry it. At some point in time, some genius thought to add egg to the dipping mixture, which only added to the richness.
Since France wasn’t in existence when French toast was originated, we can only begin to speculate on how it acquired its name. One theory is that in the 15th century, the dish became popular in France under the name of pain perdu. During the widespread popularity of pain perdu, the dish became associated with France, and thus became French toast to us English speakers.
French Toast Spotting Around the World
As you might imagine, it didn’t take long for this classic dish to spread like wildfire across the globe. During medieval times, French toast became quite popular throughout Europe. One of the biggest appeals of French toast during those times, aside from how it tasted, was that it was a practical and well accepted way of using up leftover bread before it became too hard and stale to eat.
The pure practicality of French toast means that it was eventually adopted as a staple in countries around the world. The beauty of this is that each geographical location adds their own special touch, making it a dish that’s unique to the region.
For example, in Spain the dish is sometimes soaked in wine, rather than milk, with a delicate mixture of honey and warm spices. In Hong Kong, the dish becomes a type of fried sandwich with pieces of French toast being stuffed with fruity jams. And in the United States? Well, we’ve perfected French toast as an art form, with no shortage of creative options.
Let’s Talk About French Toast in Summerlin
So, all this world history surrounding French toast is interesting and all, but what you really want to know is where to find the BEST French toast in Summerlin. In our humble opinion, the most unforgettable French toast in the area can be found only on the brunch menu at Hearthstone.
Here’s the thing about French toast. It’s easy, but most people don’t make it at home. Although the ingredients are simple, there is a bit of process to perfecting the dish. The custard has to be just the right creamy consistency and mastering the technique once you get it into the pan is essential. Without this, you end up with an egg-y tasting piece of toast.
At Hearthstone, we’ve not only mastered the art of French toast, we’ve taken it to another level. Our brunch menu features a French Toast Monte Cristo that is worthy of the cult following it has earned. We start by dipping two pieces of bread in the creamiest custard and stuffing it with a delicate cream cheese filling. Add in some mixed berries, coconut flakes, and banana syrup and suddenly you have an obsession worthy dish.
Dig Into Brunch at Hearthstone
There’s a lot of ways to do French toast, but none compare to what we have on our brunch menu at Hearthstone. When you really want to experience the best French toast in Summerlin, your only option is to contact Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar and reserve your spot for our Sunday brunch, which also happens of offer bottomless mimosas. Don’t wait, RSVP at Hearthstone today!