Sunday, July 10, 2016

... and one thing that IS French: French Toast

My previous blog post was about things called "French" that are not really French. In contrast French toast actually is a French tradition. Good French bread easily goes stale. French people hate to waste bread. So dipping it in egg and frying or baking it is a natural thing to do. Of course they don't call it "French Toast," they call it "Pain Perdu" which means lost bread -- bread that otherwise would be "lost" bread. They also make it from brioche, which sounds delicious.

Here are images from search for "pain perdu" showing that their recipes are very much like ours. "Pain Perdu Salé" is savory French toast. "Pain Perdu au Four" is baked French toast. And so on:
All kinds of Pain Perdu.
A few more images of French toast from
What else do French people do with stale bread from last night's dinner? Well, they make ordinary buttered toast for breakfast. Or they dip the stale bread in their coffee. Or let their children feed it to the fish in the pond in the Luxembourg Gardens. Or throw it out the window and pretend the pigeons will eat it. I once lived in a ground-floor apartment in Paris where one or more of the people who lived above me did this. What a mess I had to clean up -- the pigeons could not eat fast enough!

I was inspired to write this post by a comment on my previous post.


Jeanie said...

You can call it pain perdu. You can call it French toast. Just call me for breakfast (or dinner!)

Geri Saucier said...

I agree with the French it is a crime to waste bread. French Toast is one of my favorites.