Q: I was about to answer 'what is your favorite French dish?' with a resounding, 'French toast!' — when a thought occurred to me. Is French toast French?
If not, then maybe sole meuniere or something classic like that. But what can beat French toast! Man, I love French toast.
Sent by Stacy
Editor: Stacy, this is a very good question. We did a little cursory reading, and it seems that no one really knows where French toast came from originally. It is instead one of those dishes that seems to have appeared many places simultaneously. In all parts of the world where people eat bread, there is a need for ways to use up day-old bread. French toast is one such way, and the Spanish and Portuguese may have been the first to dip leftover bread in their eggy custard mix and fry it up. In Spain this dish is known as torrijas, and it is eaten most frequently as a dessert around Lent and Easter. In Portugal it is known as fatias douradas or rabanadas.
There is more information at the Wikipedia page on French toast — it's a very thorough discussion of the dish and its variations throughout the world!
• French Toast at Wikipedia
There is also a great article at Slate.com on French toast and its history:
• Is French Toast Really French?
Brendan Koerner from Slate responds to the Freedom toast/French toast debate by looking at the culinary debate (as opposed to political) over the Gallic roots of pain perdu and the other European versions of this dish.
Readers, can you shed any more light on this question?
Related: On The Menu: Make French Toast This Weekend!