The History of Toast

Before the modern ages brought us toasters and toaster ovens, people still ate toast. Today there are many makes and models available, but a market leader is Oster, a website that is dedicated to toaster ovens and they have a great review of the best Oster toaster oven, but they also have unbiased reviews on plenty of other makes and models.

Bread has been around since the ancient Egyptian times, but why did the first people toast bread. There are several theories behind this, but the most logical explanation would be that before we had the ability to freeze bread, or indeed buy a fresh loaf from the store, toasting was a way of keeping the products fresh. You can always toast stale bread! The Romans are credited with being the first to toast bread.

Before Electricity 

Before the invention of electricity, a fire, plenty of time and a toasting fork was required. There was a very clear distinction between the class that made their own toast, and the class that enjoyed toast made by servants. A wealthy owner of a country estate, like a Lord or an Earl, would not have made his own toast unless it amused him.

Before electricity made the toaster possible, the toast-makers of the world were in a continuous struggle to make toasting easier. First the hot stone, then the wire frame, then the toasting fork. But after the toasting fork, there didn’t seem to be anywhere to go.

Toasting forks were the modern appliance of the age. There were three-pronged and two-pronged forks, forks with small trays below the prongs to keep the toast from falling in the fire, and forks with racks instead of prongs so that more than one piece of toast could be made at once. There was even, for the toast-lover on the go, the telescopic toasting fork, which was pocket-sized when unneeded but which slid out of its own handle (like a radio antenna) when a sudden need for toast arose.

Electricity Changed the World 

In 1893 the first toaster was available, but it was a very dangerous appliance. Improvements came thick and fast, by 1920 the first pop-up toaster with a timer was introduced by a Minnesotan named Charles Strite. He had owned a cafeteria and got annoyed at the constant burnt toast he had to supply to his customers.

To have toast at breakfast was a British tradition. One that they brought with them to America. Toast at breakfast became a constitution with Americans and today, egg dishes at restaurants across the country still invariably come with toast. Endless variations flew back and forth between the continents, toast with butter, toast with jam, beans on toast, peanut butter toast, cheese toast, Texas toast and egg and soldiers etc.

Today as many as seventy five million Americans eat toast every day. Toast is something we all take for granted and do not give a passing thought as to where the idea came from. Like everything there is a history, one that you may never have thought about, but at least now you know its history.