Believe it or not, French toast isn’t an American invention, and despite its name, it’s not even a French invention either! The earliest known reference to a dish similar to what we consider French toast was found in a Latin recipe dating back to the 4th or 5th century BCE. The simple formula, bread dipped in a mixture of eggs and milk and fried, has proven itself to be timeless, and universal too -- every country seems to have its unique take on this brunch staple.


1. French toast, French style

In France, French toast is actually called pain perdu, which translates to “lost bread” because it’s a great way to use up a loaf that is on the verge of going stale in a very tasty way.

  • Completely cover a single layer of thick slices of day-old crusty French bread (such as Bâtard or Pain de Campagne) in a custard of beaten eggs, heavy cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and Armagnac liqueur, and let it soak in the fridge, covered, for at least a day
  • Dust the soaked bread in a mixture of one tablespoon flour and one tablespoon sugar evenly on both sides
  • Fry on both sides in lots of butter until crisp and golden

As the French say, bon appetit!

Pain perdu grandriver / Getty Images

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