Co-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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