Whether you’ve had any chance encounters with French culture or not, there are two things that are distinctly hold their origins in their name. We’re talking about french fries and french toast. While we would like to keep the discussion on the origins of french fries for another day, it is the french toast that has intrigued us. So much so, that we went on to dig up a little on its history and to our amazement, we found that it isn’t really French. Although the name very specifically places it on a particular part on the map, it isn’t the place to which it belongs. In fact, the french toast came way before France was known as a country. 

Each morning, when I’m craving a nice and hearty breakfast, it usually has something to do with eggs. But it does get boring to rotate between omlette, boiled and poached eggs all through the week. Scrambled ones make an appearance once in a blue moon but I’m not very fond of them. After all options have exhausted, I resort to the French toast. Though I prefer to have savoury toast with whisked eggs and milk, it is believed that the dish was originally treated as a warm sweet dish in the Roman empire in the 5th century A.D. The bread was mixed with butter and milk sans eggs and fried in oil. 

It was from the Pain Romaine that the dish reached a stage with the addition of eggs that it came to be known as Pain perdu in France. Literally translating into stale bread, this dish came up as a method to utilize old bread that had hardened over time. This was dipped in a mixture of milk, eggs and butter and fried in oil to form the oh-so-popular french toast of today. Since this process transformed the condition of the bread from its original state into something else, it is referred to as pain perdu by the French. 

It didn’t take long for this delectable bread bite to become a breakfast staple across England and US, garnering novel shapes and tastes in the process. Today, we have a variety of french toasts that are toasted up around the world. Here are some of the sweet, spicy, salty and savoury versions of french toast you can try too. 

1.  Eggy Bread 

Bearing close resemblance to the savoury version of french toast, this eggy bread is nothing but a combination of milk and eggs soaked up by a slice of thick white bread. Fried until golden-brown, these are then served with a side of tomato ketchup or some sweet dip. This version is quite common in Britain. 

2.  Challah French Toast 

Challah, for the unversed, is a special type of Jewish bread that is thick and fluffy. This kind of bread is usually used for making the American style of french toast which is covered in all things sweet and nice. The thick challah absorbs the custard mix pretty well and the toast is dusted off with powdered sugar with a side of butter and maple syrup. You can also sprinkle some diced bananas on top of it. 

3.  Mexican Style French Toast 

This is treated as a dessert back in Mexico but due to the similarity of ingredients and the way it looks, it is also termed as Mexican style french toast. French bread is used for soaking up the mixture of milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Eggs are usually added by separating the yolks from the whites and the highlight of the dish is a special sauce that is dashed on the fried bread at last. 

4.  Masala French Toast 

This is an Indian or desi adaptation of the French delight. Since we Indians love sprucing up our dishes with spices and ingredients like the masala omlette, this masala french toast has cheese, tomatoes, onions and eggs mixed together and slathered on a slice of bread. 

5.  Brioche Bacon French Toast Sticks 

Taking a slight detour from the slices of bread, this is a bite-sized take on your regular french toast. The French bread, brioche is cut into sticks and bacon is cooked before being stuffed into these sticks. These are then fried until they turn golden brown, with hints of sweetness added due to the maple syrup.