The Little Toast That Was French.


I do not like French toast.

I think we Brits usually call it eggy bread. I mean, that has to be up there with spotted dick for the least-palatable-name-of-an-edible-thing award. It actually sounds like a gag. “Eggy.” Just say it out loud for a second. “Eggy.” Even the sound comes from right there in the back of your mouth where your upchuck reflex lives.

I digress. Back to French toast.

Ordering French toast in America, in front of an American, as an English person, puts you in danger of eliciting the following accusation: But British people hate French things.


Where did America get hold of this idea that the English and the French still loathe each other with every fiber of our national identity? Did I tell you about the guy at the Halloween party who came up to me, hand literally on heart, all hang-dog about the face? He looks at me a moment, very serious, and says “I’m so sorry, but I’m a Francophile.” Then, of course, there was this tremendous pause into which I think I was suppose to commiserate that our burgeoning friendship would have to go the way of the dodo because English people simply can’t bear French things. It ended up being a bit awkward because, harboring absolutely no ill will to anyone or anything French, I missed the cue and just stood there with my tongue between my teeth completely at a loss for a reply.

I do have a theory. England and France were on opposite sides during the American Revolution. America, seeing only the American in everything, naturally assumes that England and France have remained on opposing sides of all things ever since. Even on the very contentious topic of bread dipped in eggs and fried in butter.

However, in the very sneakiest of baits-and-switches, this turns out to actually be a post about The Time I Liked French Toast. And not just any French toast, an even Frenchier French toast. A French toast made with Brioche. (Go on, say French toast one more time. I dare ya.)

French toast!

I’m converted. But the whole point of telling you all this was actually to tell you about Fabulous Best Friend coming to visit. I had been internally panicking about that moment when someone comes to visit and says something along the lines of “lets go to all your favorite places in New York.” Instant. Lifestyle. Atrophy: Oh god, I’ve never been anywhere, ever. What do you mean I live in the cultural capital of the world (according to Americans) all I ever do is sit in my Ivory Tower on Broadway and look at videos of animals riding roombas on the Internet.

Thankfully there is an institution that comes riding in on a wonderful maple-coloured horse to save the day: Brunch. It’s a very serious matter here. It’s a bonafide activity that takes half the day and can involve both pancakes and alcohol. It’s the greatest idea in the history of ideas (and I’m including penicillin and the wheel.) It also leaves just enough time for a little buzz around an art gallery or a museum before retiring smugly to a midtown bar, happy in the knowledge that you “did” New York. (Throwing in a bowl of ramen the size of your face at Ippudo never hurts either – just a little insider tip while we’re here.)

I’m afraid I have to go – I am sat next to an olfactory terrorist in class, and his feet smell like dead people who bathe in melted gorgonzola. Not breathing through my nose is splitting my focus, and you deserve my full attention.

But the moral of the story is that you will come to New York, you will have Brunch (you may even have French Toast) and several mimosas, you will love it and it will have nothing whatever to do with Anglo-French relations. 😉

Bye for now xxx

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