It always starts in America- artisanal coffee gives way to cupcake or cronut according to some secret taste/retail algorithm. Some trends have genuine staying power (on the thighs at least), others are just plain disruptive. But there’s always an ingredient of the moment which rapidly becomes ubiquitous on menus and tongues and it usually arrives here in a matter of months. Hence the kale smoothie/salad/muffin/soup revolution.
So brace yourself next for a kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage) and sauerkraut invasion… with a side of toast. That’s right. The Next Big Thing is Toast. In recent weeks, the proliferation of toast menus and toast bars in San Francisco has caused a flurry of outrage on social media and in print. The four buck slice is being seen as definitive proof that the tech industry has more money than sense (as if that were needed) and an affront to all that is good and decent about eating.
In its defence, this isn’t just your average sliced pan- it’s lovingly sliced, homemade, home-milled and organic, and comes heaped with butter. The Rolls Royce white version has a generous topping of butter, sugar and cinnamon, too- an iconic American default treat right up there with sweet potato and marshmallows and mac and cheese (which had its truffled moment in the spotlight circa 2009). Every American mother in a ruffled apron worth her salt served something similar up right through the mid-century. It’s futile to resist- something truly magical happens when the sugar melts into the butter and fills the breadly air pockets. There’s a little grainy crunch in every warm bite.
Anyway, you saw it here first.
Read more about how it all began here– it’s a fascinating story about way more than just bread.