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||Dear Nicey and the wife,|
I also remember having bread toasted on one side during my childhood in Ireland. The toast would be buttered on the cooked side and then sprinkled lightly with sugar. On the positive side, the bread retains some of its moisture and therefore heat, allowing the butter and sugar to melt. On the negative side, it's a bit of an acquired taste.
I think that this might be an Irish thing. Good Catholic families (in those days at least) tended to be larger than average and producing toast quickly enough to meet demand at the breakfast table using a single eye-level grill required some compromise. There are also the financial implications to consider. Toasting the bread on both sides would have been dismissed as a waste of gas and, in all probability, a sin (I seem to remember that everything was a sin during my Irish childhood).
These days, I cook my toast on both sides. I still use a grill, but only since my son blew the main fuse attempting to retrieve a crumpet from the toaster using a metal knife.
|Nicey replies: Kieth,
A toast icon is way overdue now.
||greetings once again nicey, i'm still enjoying the great site so thanks for your efforts.|
with regard to the speculation about sting's 'toast done on one side' lyric - i believe it's a reference to the british practice of grilling their toast rather than owning a toaster. rather old-fashioned and therefore out of date which is why people are understandably puzzled. and presumably american toaster-makers are preparing to launch a full-on assault on the british toast market in the mistaken assumption that we still lack dedicated toasting equipment.
hope that helps!
PS. toast has got to be with marmelade or marmite. nothing else is acceptable (my boyfriend would disagree and demand that honey be added to your poll, but his taste is dubious ;))
|Nicey replies: Well, yes but we still turn it over when its made under the grill other wise it would be all steamy and damp on one side which would be not good at all. We only just got a toaster a few weeks back when we relocated the HQ as we were going to be with out the gas cooker for a few days. Otherwise we make it under the grill.
Wifey says - Actually, when I was a small child in Ireland I sometimes had one-sided toast when I couldn't be bothered to wait for the toast to toast on both sides under our very slow electric grill. I'd butter the un-cooked side, the result was, as Nicey says, a bit damp and not very nice at all.
Double sided grilling is by far the better option.
Mmmm Toast. I've wondered idly on and off for years what Sting was on about in that song where he sings " I don't like coffee, I take tea my dear, I like my toast done on one side. tumte tum te tum etc I'm an English man in New York". So is this an English thing - doing toast on one side? What's the point of that then? I've asked various Englishmen of my acquaintance and they've never heard of it. I was there myself only last week in sunny Bournemouth and they definitely served the toast done on more than one side in my hotel. My colleague Sue says the song's about Quentin Crisp and speculates it might be an euphemism for something else what ever that means but she's a Welshwoman from Pontardawe and has her toast done on both sides with salty welsh butter so what would she know? It's Marmite and a mashed banana for me.
PS we wondered whether you'd seen this shocking story from the South Wales Evening Post
|Nicey replies: Morning,
I'd always assumed that Sting was projecting some weird Geordie Toast making practice on to the rest of England. Maybe his toaster is knakered. He's got a lot to answer for as many Americans now use that song as their stereotypical cultural summing up of the UK having finally ditched Mary Poppins, I know I have the emails.
As for that article, I remember going on a school trip to the British Tissues factory in Maestyg, and seeing various sorts of loo rolls being built. The same stuff was going into Dixel and Maid Marion (another corner shop brand). It also appeared to be the place where they make that pink toilet tissue with the little pictures of roses on it, which always seems to be the stuff people resort to when taken short in laybys. I think we all got a four pack of loo rolls to take home, and I remember Nanny Nicey was thrilled with it.
||Dear Nicey and the wife,|
Having looked through your feedback, I notice that there are many items relating to various cakes and biscuits but very little correspondence on the subject of toast.
I imagine that for most people, the phrase "A nice cup of tea and a sit down" evokes an image of afternoon tea. This is perfectly understandable as the 3 o'clock cuppa or a freshly brewed pot on arriving home after work are the most anticipated and well deserved breaks in the average day. On these occasions, a biscuit or a nice piece of cake is exactly the right accompaniment.
There are, however, other tea drinking opportunities, particularly breakfast and supper time, when a slice of toast is more appealing. As a child, one of my favourite culinary treats was hot, buttered toast with a sprinkling of sugar. The toast has to be hot to allow the sugar to melt into the butter. Nowadays, I enjoy toast with butter or marmalade for breakfast. Speciality jams are also provided for the younger members of the household.
For supper, I will occasionally top my toast with peanut butter or something more exotic such as cheese (with a dash of Lea & Perrin's), pilchards, plum tomatoes or mushrooms with cream.
Perhaps you could provide a survey on the best "toast topper", including butter, jam, marmalade, peanut butter, marmite (yuck!), mashed banana etc.
As you can see from this short list of options, toast is extremely versatile and should note be ignored.
p.s. Possibe new icon alert.
|Nicey replies: Kieth,
Our mate Nick Parker wrote a splendid book on toast, he also ran the London marathon last Sunday.
Of course Toast falls within the gamut of tea and sitting down activity. Wifey likes tea before, during and after Toast in the morning. Wifey sticks rigidly to Marmite or cheese. I like Bovril, Marmalade, sometimes a spot of jam occasionally Peanut Butter with sweet pickle or fresh ground black pepper. A spot of Heinz Tomato Ketchup is very good also. The whole team enjoys Sardines on toast and we feel strongly that more people should eat Sardines on toast.
I'll try a sweet toppings poll first, but I think I know the outcome already.
Big Woos for the icon fest nature of this message
It's Nick Parker -- you very kindly reviewed my book on Toast a few months ago, (yr review still holds pride of place on the Toast page on Amazon, btw).
Just thought I'd add a few words in response to the review of Choco Leibniz biscuits that's on yr site. Which is that in addition to being one of the finest biscuits currently available (the product description on the back of the box gives a clue to their success: 'chocolate biscuits *set in*
chocolate' -- less a biscuit with chocolate on, more a sort of elaborate chocolate/biscuit suspension) they also win another accolade: being the only biscuit ever to be named after a philosopher*.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz to be precise. Born in Leipzig in 1646. Some book said of him: 'Leibniz was a man of medium height with a stoop, broad-shouldered but bandy-legged, as capable of thinking for several days sitting in the same chair as of travelling the roads of Europe summer and
winter. [so he even liked a sit down!] He was an indefatigable worker, a universal letter writer, a patriot and cosmopolitan, a great scientist, and one of the most powerful spirits of Western civilisation.'
All that, *and* he gave his name to a biscuit. wow.
*to my knowledge, McVitie's Caramel Nietzsches never made it past the prototype stage.
|Nicey replies: Hey Nick,
The Choco Liebniz is of course the chocolate version of the Leibniz, just as the Chocolate Digestive is the chocolate version of the Digestive, and the Petit Écolier (small school boy) is the chocolate version of Petit Beurre. Slight loss of plot by the French again. Originally, 1890 something, Bahlsen produced 'Leibniz Kaks' and then changed the name to 'Leibniz Cakes', which sound even more tempting. I'm told by Bahlsen that the Choco Leibniz enjoys a fierce brand loyalty, which would seem about right as it is an impressive use of chocolate to dress up an otherwise uneventful biscuit, much as the Lu have done with the Petit Beurre. Of course the master stroke is to make the chocolate something that can be nibbled off.