French Toast Was Not Invented in France

French toast was not invented in France. In fact, French toast was around long before France even existed as a country. The exact origins of French toast are unknown, but it isn’t surprising that humans seem to have come up with the recipe quickly, given that French toast is traditionally made out of stale bread. Bread has been a staple food for most cultures since food first began being prepared and, up until very recently, the vast majority of humans would have never dreamed of wasting any food; thus, one has to find a way to make stale bread palatable. Soaking it in milk and egg and then cooking it, seems logical enough, making a good tasty meal while not wasting any bread.

The earliest reference to doing just this dates all the way back to 4th century Rome, in a cookbook attributed to Apicius, and it is thought to predate this work by a good margin. This style of “French” toast was called Pan Dulcis. The Romans would take the bread and soak it in a milk and egg mixture, and then cook it, typically frying it in oil or butter, pretty much just like it’s made today in many countries in the world.

This practice became common throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, including making it primarily out of stale bread. Indeed, the name for French toast in France itself is “pain perdu”, which literally means “lost bread” (it is also called this in Belgium, New Orleans, Acadiana, Newfoundland, and the Congo, among other places). It’s interesting to note, for the naysayers who like to cling to the belief that it came from France, that before the French called it pain perdu, they called it “pain a la Romaine” (Roman bread).

Another popular myth as to the origins of the name “French toast”, perpetuated in such publications as Why Do Donuts Have Holes, is that French toast actually came from America, specifically, being created in 1724. The name “French” came from the chef who first made it, Joseph French. Supposedly, Mr. French was bad at grammar and when he named it, simply forgot the apostrophe, as in: Frenchs toast, instead of French’s toast. Alas, if only the Grammar Nazis of the day would have corrected him.

This story, of course, is pure fiction as there are numerous references throughout history of what is now called, in North America, French toast. Indeed, there are numerous cookbooks from the middle ages throughout Europe that even give the classical recipes for French toast. Further, the name “French toast” pre-dates the 18th century, with the earliest references popping up in the mid-17th century, before the story of the grammatically inept Joesph French. Before that time, it was also known as German toast, Spanish toast, and a variety of other names, only some of which had anything to do with the name of a country.

North Americans call it French toast for very similar reasons as to why they call fried potato strips “French fries”. Simply that they were popularized in America by French immigrants. Note: for more on the fascinating history of the French Fry, check out Misconception Junction’s companion site Today I Found Out: The History of French Fries

Recipes For French Toast Through Time:

  • 4th century: “”Another sweet dish: Break fine white bread, crust removed, into rather large pieces which soak in milk [and beaten eggs] Fry in oil, cover with honey and serve.” -Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome, edited and translated by Joseph Dommers Vehling
  • 1450: “Take slices of white bread, trimmed so that they have no crusts; make these slices square and slightly grilled so that they are colored all over by the fire. Then take eggs beaten together with plenty of sugar and a little rose water; and put the slices of bread in this to soak; carefully remove them, and fry them a little in a frying pan with a little butter and lard, turning them very frequently so that they do not burn. The arrange them on a plate, and top with a little rose water colored yellow with a little saffron, and with plenty of sugar.”
    -The Medieval Kitchen, Recipes from France and Italy, Odilie Redon et al (recipe translated from Libro de arte coquinaria, Maestro Martino)
  • 1187: “American Toast: To one egg thoroughly beaten, put one cup of sweet milk, and a little salt. Slice light bread and dip into the mixture, allowing each slice to absorb some of the milk; then brown on a hot, buttered griddle or thick-bottom frying pan; spread with butter, and serve hot.” -White House Cook Book, Mrs. F. L. Gilette [1887]
  • 1906: Cut bread as for toast, without removing crust. Beat egg slightly, add milk. Dip bread slices with a fork into milk mixture, moistening well on both sides, not too wet. Cover bottom of a hot skillet one inch or more with hot or rendered butter. Brown moistened bread quickly as soon as dipped, first on one side then on the other in hot butter. Do not cook more than two or three slices at one time. If cooked too slowly, toast will be greasy. Drain and sprinkle while hot with confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon mixed together.” -Every Woman’s Cook Book, Mrs. Chas. F. Moritz [1926]

Bonus Facts:

  • While the vast majority of people throughout history seem to have made their French toast from stale bread, the upper class members of society don’t appear to have done the same. Most cookbooks for this group tended to make it from very highly enriched white bread, which was much more expensive than whole grain bread through most of history, ironically enough, considering today it’s the opposite.
  • Other names for French toast around the globe include: Eggy Bread (Britain); Gypsy Toast (Britain); Poor Knights of Windsor (Britain)… (there are many more from Britain, but I’ll just stick with those three) ;-); Rabanada, served as a Christmas dessert (Portugal and Brazil); Torrijas, served as an Easter dessert (Spain); Bombay Toast (Sri Lanka and Burma); and Mozzarella in Carrozza (mozzarella in a carriage) (Italy).
  • In Italy, French toast is made by taking two slices of bread and embedded mozzarella in between them, then dipping the sandwich in whipped egg and frying in the typical French toast fashion. This version of French toast is then often topped with tomato sauce and cheese. Obviously this is not considered a breakfast food in Italy.
  • In Scotland, French toast is traditionally served with sausage between two slices of French toast, eaten as a sandwich. It is also sometimes eaten with ketchup in Great Britain.
  • In India, French toast is made without sweeteners, typically being made with egg, milk, salt, green chili, and chopped onions and generally served with ketchup.
  • In Spain, they make it by soaking thick slices of bread in either wine or milk and then dipping it in egg and frying it up. Toppings then typically include honey and/or cinnamon.
  • The Portuguese still keep the tradition alive of making French toast out of stale bread. They typically make it as a Christmas dish out of stale slices of bread and make it entirely in the traditional fashion of soaking the bread in a mixture of milk and egg, then frying it in butter or vegetable oil. Toppings then often include sugar and cinnamon enriched syrup.
  • In France itself, French toast is highly sweetened and his served as a dessert item, rather than served for breakfast, as in America and many other places.
  • As mentioned, it’s only been a recent thing for a large group of humans to commonly waste food. French toast isn’t the only food that seems to have come from the practice of using up every scrap of food. Fondue seems to have also been created this way, being traditionally made out of old hardened cheese and dried out bread.
  • Throughout history, in Europe, most food scraps would be taken and thrown into a pot that was nearly always kept simmering to keep the food from going bad. This mix-stew made for quick meals throughout the day and served as a great way to make sure every scrap of food would get eaten.

Found at Today I Found Out.

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It was Saturday morning as Jake, an avid hunter, woke up raring to go bag the first deer of the season.

He walks down to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, and to his surprise he finds his wife, Erin, sitting there, fully dressed in camouflage.

Jake asks her, “What are you up to?”

Erin smiles, “I’m going hunting with you! The kids are with their granddad.”

Jake, though he had many reservations about this, reluctantly decides,to take her along.

Three hours later they arrive at a game preserve just outside of Malta, Montana.

Jake sets his lovely wife safely up in the tree stand and tells her “If you see a deer, take careful aim on it and I’ll come running back as soon as I hear the shot.

He walks away with a smile on his face knowing that Erin couldn’t bag an elephant – much less a deer.

Not 10 minutes pass when he is startled as he hears an array of gunshots.

Quickly, Jake starts running back. As he gets closer to her stand, he hears Erin screaming, “Get the hell away from my deer!”

Confused and frightened, Jake races faster towards his screaming wife,and again he hears her yell, “Get the hell away from my deer!” followed by another volley of gunfire!

Now within sight of where he had left his wife, Jake is surprised to see a Montana game warden with his hands high in the air.

The game warden, obviously distraught, yelled, “Okay, lady! You can have your deer! Just let me get my saddle off it!”

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A man prints a photo of his face and places it in a jar with green water to scare his wife during Halloween. Do you want to scare your friends & family too with this prank? Here’s a website that tells you how (Website)

The Event Horizon of a Black Hole –“An Exit Door from Our Universe” (Weekend Feature))

A glossary of Ebola contact types


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Microsoft beefs up security protection in Windows 10

What Microsoft users in business care deeply about—-a system architecture that supports efforts to get their work done efficiently; a work-centric menu to quickly access projects rather than weather readings and movie trailers; and an architecture that helps protect their identity and information. Small wonder that Microsoft is talking up the security feature of its next-generation Windows 10 operating system. Its security measures are impressive in delivering two-factor authentication and other safeguards against malware and data theft.

The posting from Jim Alkove, leader, Windows enterprise program management team, stated that Windows 10 security “represents the destination in our journey to eliminate the use of single-factor identity options like passwords. We believe this solution brings identity protection to a new level as it takes multi-factor security which today is limited to solutions such as smartcards and builds it right into the operating system and device itself.” Announcements about the security side of Windows 10 were also posted in the company’s corporate blog, The Fire Hose. The news via The Fire Hose is that the latest preview release has nearly everything in place to move away from single-factor authentication options such as passwords. Once enrolled, devices themselves become one of two factors that are required for authentication. The second factor will be a PIN or biometric, such as fingerprint.

“From a security standpoint, this means that an attacker would need to have a user’s physical device – in addition to the means to use the user’s credential – which would require access to the users PIN or biometric information,” said Alkove. Smartphones can be used as a mobile credential. Alkove said, “Users will be able to enroll each of their devices with these new credentials, or they can enroll a single device, such as a mobile phone, which will effectively become their mobile credential. It will enable them to sign-in into all of their PCs, networks, and web services as long as their is nearby. In this case, the phone, using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi communication, will behave like a remote smartcard and it will offer two factor for both local sign-in and remote access.”

As for malware, the Fire Hose blog notice said a range of options has been included to help businesses protect against common causes of malware infection. What’s more, said the blog, Windows 10 “renders phishing attacks for identities almost completely ineffective.”

Alkove noted that cyber-attacks on businesses are not only wide-reaching but increasingly high-profile and successful in execution. “In a couple of recent cases, hackers infiltrated Fortune 500 companies using stolen usernames and passwords which gave them access to point of sale systems and the data being processed with them. The attacks resulted in the theft of millions of which quickly ended up in the black market.” Windows 10’s architects clearly felt they had to mean business: features include automatic encryption of corporate apps, data, email, website content and other sensitive information. Windows 10 provides organizations with the ability to lock down devices, said Alkove. “Because is often inadvertently installed onto devices by users, Windows 10 addresses this threat by only allowing trusted apps, meaning apps that are signed using a Microsoft provided signing service, to be run on specially configured devices.” He said organizations will have the flexibility to choose what apps are trustworthy – “just apps that are signed by themselves, specially signed apps from ISVs, apps from the Windows Store, or all of the above.”

Found HERE.

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First Patient Quarantined Under Strict New Policy Tests Negative for Ebola

Online harassment affects 40% of US adults, report says

Some 40% of adults have experienced online harassment, according to a study from the US Pew Research Internet Project.

From name-calling to other threats, harassment is a common part of online life for many, its research suggests.

While men are more likely to experience name-calling, women are more vulnerable to sexual harassment and stalking.

The report comes amid a rise in social media abuse aimed at women in the games industry.

The report found that 73% of American adult internet users had witnessed online harassment – from being called offensive names to witnessing someone being stalked online.

It found that young adults – aged 18-29 – are most likely to experience online harassment, with 65% of internet users in this age group claiming to have fallen victim.

The vast majority of harassment took place on social networking sites, according to the research.

The report looked at six types of abuse:

  • Offensive name-calling
  • Attempts to purposefully embarrass
  • Harassment for a sustained period of time
  • Online threats to physically harm
  • Online stalking
  • Sexual harassment

“It was striking to see how different varieties of harassment impacted different groups on different platforms, and the range of reactions online harassment elicited,” said report author Maeve Duggan.

Of those who had personally been harassed online, the majority chose to ignore it, she found.

Young women are particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment and stalking online, she told the BBC.

Her research also found that gaming platforms were seen as the least welcoming to women, with 44% of people saying such forums were more geared towards men.

Last month, more than 2,000 people signed an open letter calling for an end to “hateful, harassing speech” on Twitter and other social media, following death threats to feminist games reviewer Anita Sarkeesian.

Her series on the portrayal of women in video games led to what she described as “some very scary threats” which forced her to leave her home.

Found HERE.

Gun porn for today….

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