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The History of French Toast

Darrach Bourke

Darrach Bourke was a financial advisor in Summit Brokerage Services in Larkspur, California. A breakfast chef at home, Darrach Bourke enjoys making French toast.

It may or may not be a surprise, but French toast wasn’t invented by the French. In fact, the dish predates the founding of the France. Historians have found recipes for “Pan Dulcis” that date back to the late Roman Empire in the famous cookbook, Apicius, written in the early years of the 5th century CE.
During the medieval period, dipping stale bread in eggs was a way for the poor to soften it and make it edible again. Nevertheless, French toast was sufficiently appreciated by the upper class to have numerous recipes recorded in cookbooks.
It was quite a popular dish in the court of Henry V, where the recipes of the time referred to it by the French name of “pain perdu” (lost bread). However, as a dubious legend has it, the name of “French toast” came from an innkeeper in Albany, New York, named Joseph French who advertised them “French toast” since he was unaware of the existence of the “apostrophe s.”

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