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Bruce Kulick and Lisa Lane Kulick

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Bruce Kulick and Lisa Lane Kulick are french toast aficionados and have expertly crafted our list of french toast recipes befitting a rockstar. We hope you love them as much as we do!

French Toast vs. Pancakes: Why French Toast Is Better Than Pancakes

In the battle of French toast vs. pancakes, it’s hard to pick a winner, but there are a few factors that set French toast apart from its cakey cousin. For one, French toast is easier to make: Rather than needing to mix together ingredients to make a batter, you only have to whisk together a couple of ingredients to soak your bread in. French toast is also higher in protein and fiber and lower in sodium than pancakes. And since French toast doesn’t soak up syrup as easily as pancakes do, you may end up consuming less sugar, too. While pancakes are also delicious, it’s easy to see why people prefer French toast!

Where Did French Toast Come From?

Oddly enough, French toast did not originate in France. In fact, French toast’s origins trace back all the way to ancient Rome! A Roman cookbook called Apicius, dating from at least as far back as the 5th century C.E., describes a recipe for bread soaked in milk and beaten eggs then fried and served with honey. Similar foods were eaten in Europe during the Middle Ages, but it wasn’t until the 15th century, during the reign of Henry V when French toast was first documented in England. There, it was referred to by its French name, pain perdu. French toast made its first appearance in the United States in the 1700s. It is said to have been introduced by an innkeeper by the name of Joseph French in Albany, New York.

Why Is French Toast Called French Toast?

You’d think that the answer to how French toast got its name would be “because it’s French,” but the truth is that this delicious breakfast recipe dates back to the ancient Romans. As for the name “French toast,” it first appeared in print in the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink in 1871, but appears to be significantly older than that. And honestly, nobody’s really sure exactly why we call it “French toast” today.

One of the earliest documented French toast recipes can be found in an ancient Roman cookbook. The dish was called pan dulcis, or “sweet bread.” The recipe remained popular in various forms, turning up again in 15th century England, where it went by its French name, pain perdu, meaning “lost bread.”

There are a few different theories about how French toast came to be called that. One of them credits the name to an innkeeper in Albany, New York, named Joseph French, who is said to have invented the variation of French toast we know today in 1724 and named it after himself. While this is an interesting story, there’s no evidence to support it. There’s also the possibility that it’s called “French” because we tend to think of French things as being sophisticated; calling this humble dish “French toast” could have been a way to elevate its reputation or a sign that it was thought of as fancy at some point. It’s even possible that its name comes from the verb “french,” meaning “to slice thinly” (a usage most commonly seen on cans of green beans).

While there is still some disagreement and confusion around why French toast is called that, the one thing most people can agree on is that French toast is a delicious dish.

Did the French Invent French Toast?

Despite being called “French toast,” this delicious breakfast treat isn’t French at all! One of the earliest recipes for “French toast” dates back at least as far as the 17th century when Americans used a variation of the recipe to make use of stale bread so it didn’t go to waste. But the dish itself is far older than that. The earliest documented recipe for French toast comes from an ancient Roman cookbook and was called pan dulcis, or “sweet bread.” This delicious concoction stuck around in various forms, turning up again in documents from 15th century England, where it went by its French name, pain perdu, or “lost bread.”

Is French Toast Healthy?

French toast can be a healthy breakfast option, depending on how it’s made. French toast is definitely healthier than pancakes, as well as some other breakfast options. It is high in carbs, but you can make a French toast recipe healthy by using whole wheat or high-fiber bread.

You can also make your French toast healthier by switching up the toppings you add to it. You can substitute fresh fruit or jam for high-sugar toppings like pancake syrup and confectioner’s sugar. Pure maple syrup is a far healthier sweetener than artificial syrups if you still want to use syrup. Honey is also a sweet option that’s great for your diet. And dark chocolate and raspberries are delicious toppings that put a twist on French toast.