Is French Toast Really French?

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I will never leave home without it. They say it sets the tone for the rest of your day. If skipping it means that your day spells doom, then yes, I wake up early just to have it.

When French toast is the star of your breakfast, then that cloud of doom is replaced by a dainty rainbow. The sight of French toast makes me smile. When French toast is the subject, the calorie count is a non-issue.

So much for my endearment for French toast. The quintessential French toast is made with American white bread. Just does not make sense, right? It makes you wonder then: Is French Toast really French?

Thank you for being Curious Georges. Apparently, it ain’t…

I chanced upon this article entitled French Toast Isn’t French. It is a short lecture telling us about the who’s and the what’s about the history of French Toast:

  • As far back as the 5th century A.D., the Romans enjoyed bread the way we did French toast. Wow right? It is part and parcel of early civilization.
  • In the English court of King Henry V, they called French toast as “pain perdu” or lost bread. The stale bread is soaked in egg and milk, and then fried.
  • But it was in 18th century New York, where this dish was aptly called French Toast. It was a man in Albany, New York, Joseph FRENCH, who advertised it as French Toast.

This is a big uh-huh moment for me, finding out where this genius of a breakfast staple came from. 🙂

I’ve tried a-many French toasts, but I remember 2 versions very fondly. And I got the chance to taste them quite recently.

At The Pantry, Dusit Thani Manila

The Dusit Thani in Manila revamped its buffet restaurant in late 2014 and renamed it The Pantry. It was a pleasant surprise seeing the restaurant with new and vibrant colors and very hip interiors! It was very appetizing to do the buffet breakfast that day. But I was reminded that yeah, I was on a diet. And so as a consolation, if you can call it that, I ordered a la carte and opted for this amazing French toast!

It was described as cubes of brioche, soaked in an egg and milk mixture, and then DEEP-FRIED to utmost perfection. (Oops, there went the diet). It was paraded with thunder crunchy bacon strips and grilled bananas. I remember they served it with a bourbon maple syrup on the side. I could only shake my head thinking about it. I don’t remember how much it cost, and at this point, I could not care less. This was masterful…

Homemade is almost always the best. And for this French toast, I definitely agree!

In one of my New York trips, we did a quick French toast shopping spree at our favorite Fairway Market on the Upper West Side. Of course, we needed the challah bread to turn a day-old– Rule #1 for Frenchtoasting 101! With fresh raspberries and a big bottle of Grade A Dark Amber Maple syrup, we built our very own French toast tower! Ooh la la…

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Homemade Challah Toast with Fresh Raspberries

It was a gloomy day out, but this definitely brought the sunshine in on an otherwise ordinary breakfast! 🙂




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