Pinning down the origins of French Toast

French ToastIt’s a widely accepted myth that French Toast found it’s origins in, of all places, France. It seems to make perfect sense with the name and all, but it might not be as simple as the that.

The crack team of investigators and fact checkers over at did a little research and found out some facts about the origins of this iconic breakfast entrée that might help you understand better how it came to be. Check out an excerpt of their findings below…

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. Bread has been a staple food for most cultures since food first began being prepared and, up until very recently, the vast majority of humans would have never dreamed of wasting any food; thus, one has to find a way to make stale bread palatable. Soaking it in milk and egg and then cooking it, seems logical enough, making a good tasty meal while not wasting any bread.

The earliest reference to doing just this dates all the way back to 4th century Rome, in a cookbook attributed to Apicius, and it is thought to predate this work by a good margin. This style of “French” toast was called Pan Dulcis. The Romans would take the bread and soak it in a milk and egg mixture, and then cook it, typically frying it in oil or butter, pretty much just like it’s made today in many countries in the world.

This practice became common throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, including making it primarily out of stale bread. Indeed, the name for French toast in France itself is “pain perdu”, which literally means “lost bread” (it is also called this in Belgium, New Orleans, Acadiana, Newfoundland, and the Congo, among other places). It’s interesting to note, for the naysayers who like to cling to the belief that it came from France, that before the French called it pain perdu, they called it “pain a la Romaine” (Roman bread).

That’s not all there is to it however. There’s more to be had about how the actual name of French Toast came about. It might surprise you with how simple the story is, if it is indeed accurate. Go check out the full article here:

And if you found yourself feeling hungry reading this, come on in and grab some French Toast at Perko’s!