The History of French Toast: What Part of France Invented French Toast?

The history of french toast can help you get all the ideas you will need to know about french toast and what part of France invented French toast.

the history of french toast

Both the dish and the term French toast have an uncertain past, but it is obvious that the recipes involve bread being dipped in milk and eggs.

The History of French Toast

The Apicius is a book of recipes from the Roman Empire that contains the oldest recorded mention of French toast. 

The attribution to Apicius, which is an actual 2nd-century AD Roman noble, is said to be nothing more than a literary tradition.

Historians have also claimed that this book is a survivor from collections kept by working chefs. Although, people still find it difficult to believe.

A recipe in the Apicius is referred to as “aliter Dulcia,” which means “”Slice fine white bread, remove the crust, and break it into fairly large pieces. 

Another step to consider is that you fry in oil after soaking in milk and an egg, top with honey, and serve.”

From Europe to America

The recipe for arme ritter, or “poor knights,” is thought to have originated in Germany in the fourteenth century. 

At about the same period, Taillevent, a cook in the French court kitchens and the creator of Le Viandier offered a recipe for tostées dorées, also known as “golden toasts.” 

Taillevent’s recipe omits milk but directs the user to use “firm bread” and to cover it in egg before cooking it in a skillet.

Before the recipe sailed across the sea and landed in America with the early settlers, it is believed that the name French toast was originally used in England in the 17th century.

It’s a widely believed but quite doubtful myth that French toast originated in America. The recipe is credited to Joseph French, a chef, who invented it in 1724. 

However, he labeled the dish “French toast” rather than “French toast” since he misspelled the dish’s name and forgot the apostrophe.

The French Roots

It will interest you to know that french toast is referred to as “pain perdu,” which translates to “lost bread,” in France. 

This meal was created to use up all of the stale bread from earlier days when food was scarce and nothing had to be wasted. 

The remaining bread was brought back to life by being dipped in an egg-and-milk concoction and then fried on a pan, creating a substantial and incredibly full dish to feed a family.

Similar recipes can be found all over the world, such as bread and butter pudding in the UK, torrija in Spain, and rabanadas in Portugal.

More so, bread, eggs, milk, a little sugar, and butter to fry are the only ingredients required for the original French recipe for pain perdu.

Maple syrup, jam, honey, peanut butter, whipped cream, fruit, yogurt, ice cream, almonds, and bacon are now popular toppings. You can use a variety of bread, including challah and brioche as well as a basic white loaf.

From Peasant Food to Elegant Brunch Dish

From Peasant Food to Elegant Brunch Dish

People in Dublin have been waiting in line at San Lorenzo’s on South Great George’s Street to order the Coco Pops French Toast for their weekend brunch. 

This salty caramel banana, peanut butter, whipped cream, and Belgian chocolate sauce-topped treat is crispy.

Geoff Lenehan adds a creative twist to the traditional dish at Bibi’s on Emorville Avenue in Dublin 8. 

According to Lenehan, this dish is very well-liked, “, particularly on the weekend mornings.” Geoff utilizes Tartine Bakery brioche, which keeps its softness throughout cooking and gives a tinge of sweetness.

He further coated it with a mixture of organic milk and free-range eggs that is split evenly. 

As soon as the brioche has absorbed all the sweetness, it is placed in a hot, butter-coated pan and cooked on both sides.

Although, it is done before being topped with either Gubbeen streaky bacon and maple syrup or some seasonal fruits. 

Now, we believe the reason why people like it is that it is a true brunch dish that can be taken as breakfast and dessert.

More Things to Know

French toast, or eggy bread as we knew it back home, has a nostalgic quality as well. You should have a taste of it.

Bibi’s seasonal toppings include Wexford strawberries in the summer, apples, and blackberries in the fall, and a dark chocolate and honeycomb recipe in the winter.

With the use of fresh, in-season ingredients, several Dublin cafes have helped turn this delicious brunch dish into a fashionable one. 

The challah bread used in the dish at “Meet Me In The Morning”, a restaurant on Pleasants Street in Dublin 8, is topped with whipped Toonsbridge ricotta.

You can also seesome spiced plum compote, Highbank orchard syrup, and granola crumbs in your dish.

The current version at Two Pups Coffee on Francis Street includes brioche, roast apple purée, and blackberry labneh.

It also has roast apples, candied cinnamon hazelnuts, and fresh blackberries, which is a step up from the simple soaked, and fried stale bread.


Having read through this article, you should have noted some amazing historical facts about French toast and where it came from.

We hope your eating experience with French toast changes for the better. Also, as you go about preparing your homemade French toast, you can do it differently this time with this recipe. 

Frequently Asked Questions

It might surprise you that the first known recorded French toast recipe comes from Rome and it was around 300 A.D.

French toast came to America when an innkeeper in Albany, New York duplicated the dish in 1724.

French toast means a toast that is cooked on one side only or bread dipped in beaten egg and lightly fried.

It is called lost bread because the recipe was seen as the best way to make use of old bread without having to waste it.

Americans refer to French toast as German toast or egg bread.

French toast is the most popular in New Orleans.

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