French Toast


My initial suspicion was that French toast, like French fries had little, if anything, to do with France.  Sure enough, French toast was first mentioned in the Apicius, a 5th century cookbook of Roman times, under the category of Aliter Dulcia or another sweet dish.  This recipe didn’t call for egg.

In the 15th century there is evidence of French toast finally making it’s way to France (now with the iconic egg in the batter).  The French first referred to this breakfast treat as pain á la romaine, hinting at its origins.  But it is now known to them as pain perdu or lost bread, implying its ability to rescue stale bread.  Pain perdu is also a Cajun staple and an especially sweet variety of mainstream French toast.

Around the same time that the French were eating pain á la romaine, the Germans were eating arme ritter, which translates to poor knight.  To this day the dish is known as poor knight in Sweden, Norway and Finland.  In England the toast was known as poor knights of Windsor but now it generally goes by the shortened versions of eggy bread or gypsy toast. 

My question for you is, what do they call French toast in Germany now?


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