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Toast and the English breakfast

toast+marmaladeCo-operative, the food retailer, reports a decline in that staple of the English breakfast table, toast. In place of that fluffy bread, lightly toasted on both sides before being spread with butter and marmalade, more of us are apparently choosing European bread. Having encountered baguettes, brioche, and croissants on our holidays, it seems we’ve continued to enjoy them back at home. We’re allegedly eating 20 percent less toast than we did a decade ago.

I start the day with porage, rather than toast, but I’m not averse to toast for elevenses. And when I’m away staying at hotels, I usually have toast with butter and honey to eat alongside my omelet or scrambled eggs. It used to be said that the upper classes and Southerners liked their bread thin and firm, whereas the working classes and Northerners liked it soft and spongy. I have never checked this out, but it’s certainly true that thin-sliced bread is easier to toast and spread, though somehow not as satisfying. I hardly ever have white bread if there’s an alternative, preferring wholemeal or other brown breads if they’re available. It must be many years since I bought a white loaf, and many decades since I bought a white sliced one.

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2 Responses

  1. And what is the beverage of choice on the English breakfast table? It was the conventional wisdom that Canadians followed their British (Commonwealth?) associates in preferring tea to coffee (which was the first choice of Americans), but no doubt this template no longer applies.

    Is it true that a routine of tea—coffee—tea is the new norm throughout the day?

  2. This is a subject near to my heart……toast and marmalade. I also found that if I was recovering from flu or a bad cold and food was unappetizing, toast with thin Bovril was a good starter back into the food chain.
    On the subject of Porage, I found this article which is educational and amusing.

    George Brims.

    They call it ” porage ” oats because it doesn’t deserve to be called porridge. It’s rolled instead of ground (farm people in Caithness would call that “bruised corn” and feed it to the coos). And it’s partially pre-cooked (toasted) so it cooks really quickly. This is, like most things in a packet, adding convenience at the expesnce of taste. Some of us around here are old enough to remember when the Achingale mill in Watten was still running and the shop sold the oatmeal by the pound in paper bags. Now THAT made porridge, retaining that wonderful nutty flavour of oats. Does anyone know if the mill near Groats is still running ?

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