What started out as a way to save stale bread, has ended up a skilled craft and the newest food trend.
This is where you say “toast? As in stale bread, reheated?” Yes. That. Or, well, no – not that. This is trendy toast. Artisan toast, as they call it over there, in the US. Artisan being a word for skilled craft. And this is where you roll your eyes. At least, that is what John Gravois did when he first noticed the trend of toast. Gravois is deputy editor of Pacific Standard, a San Francisco based magazine. Just over a year ago he started looking into the toast trend, intending to mock it. Instead, he came across a woman that humbled his search. From doing a story on trendy toast, he ended up with a human touch story so good, the prestigious radio show This American Life did a segment on it.
What Gravois found was Giulietta Carrelli. She runs the Trouble Coffee & Coconut Club, a small coffee shop hidden behind a hole in a wall in a no matter neighborhood of San Francisco. Her life was never easy, but this coffee shop has sort of saved her. And here, she serves the essentials in life; coffee, coconut, grapefruit juice and cinnamon toast.
Coffee because she makes a great cup. Coconut because she found it is the only thing she can eat anytime. Giulietta has a mental illness, she gets disoriented and her senses are hypersensitive. Chewing, for instance, can be unbearable. But coconut works. She also found that standing on a street corner with a coconut is a great conversation starter.
Shots of grapefruit juice are a necessity for vitamin C, which Giulietta found is the only vitamin the coconut doesn´t contain. And last, but not least, the cinnamon toast. “I put toast on the menu because it reminded me of home. I had lived so long with no comfort”, she said to John Gravois.
It is possible that Giulietta Carrelli is the original firestarter for toast in San Francisco, but there is more smoke to this trend than can come from a one woman show. Toast touches something in us, which is why this trend has spread from San Francisco to New York, to London – obviously; it is the homeland of toast – and soon to seep through the cracks of Oslo. We have already spotted a few trend aware bloggers doing toast. We predict a fully pledged trend in a year´s time. If you wan´t to be ahead of it, here´s how:
Did you think toast would be simple? You are so mistaken! We think Ree Drummond illustrates this in the best and worst possible way ever, in her blog post Cinnamon Toast the Right Way, where she also closely illustrates the wrong way and a few in between ways. Very informative.
Her recipe is for 16 slices of bread (!), we have tried to downscale a bit.
2 slices of proper toast bread, white with crust on all four sides
50 g butter
50 g sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 drops vanilla extract
Mix together soft butter, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract until creamy. Spread on top of the bread and set under a hot oven or toaster until the butter has melted and the sugar is caramelized. Done!
True toast is served with nothing but real, true butter. You don´t need a recipe, and if you prefer to butter the toast before or after toasting the bread is up to you. We do both. Yes, we do!
This is what Huffington Post got all huffed up about when health goddess and food guru Gwyneth Paltrow included in her newest cookbook It´s all good. She says in the book that this is not really a recipe, and journalist Rebecca Orchant get´s a wee bit frustrated: “If it´s not a recipe, don´t put it in your cookbook!” Nobody much listened to her. Gwyneth’s avocado toast has whipped up a storm, now everybody wants avocado toast. Here it goes, a slight variation on Gwyneth’s super healthy version. Because we don´t like veganese. We like butter.
2 slices proper toast bread, fresh white with crust on all four sides
1 ripe avocado
salt and pepper
Butter the bread and toast it golden. Slice the avocado how you like it (or mash it if you must), squeeze lemon over and sprinkle with salt and pepper.