That’s right, toasted bread.
Leading food industry prognosticators are calling it the next big thing. They polled the food pros, consulted charts and graphs, and gazed into their crystal balls. It seems all signs point to toast.
We snicker at the idea of a restaurant toast trend because it’s toast, for god’s sake. It’s as homey a staple as you’ll find. Bread regularly appears in 99% of U.S. households, and toasters have been a home kitchen workhorse for over 100 years. Restaurants will really have to dazzle us if we’re going to pay for something so ordinary—and did I tell you that you can kiss complimentary bread baskets goodbye? Yup, another trend.
Industry experts predict that restaurants will be charging for bread board samplers designed for sharing. There will be toasted, grilled, and griddled bread options and a whole menu of savory toppings, spreads, dips, and schmears. The toppers and condiments will take their inspiration from other predicted trends like fruit paired with savories; bitter, sour, and fermented flavors; and meat from heads and necks (cow, pig, lamb).
Dessert will bring another toasty assortment, sweet this time. Restaurants will be toasting up brioche, cake slices, and fruit- and nut-filled breads to spread with flavored butters, fruit compotes, and sweet sauces. Expect to see plenty of the newly trendy ricotta cheese topped with the equally faddish hyperlocal (think zip code) honey.
Bone up on toast trivia. You’ll dazzle at the dinner table when that bread board arrives.
- The scientific term for the toasting process is called the Maillard reaction—it causes bread to turn brown through a series of biochemical reactions between the sugars and amino acids that create new, darker molecules on the surface of the bread.
- It takes precisely 216 seconds in a standard 900 watt toaster to achieve the perfect golden-brown slice of toast. So says a British researcher after toasting and tasting 2,000 slices.
- Don’t burn the toast; burning creates the compound acrylamide which is linked to cancer.
- The ancient Greeks used to char toast and drop bits into glasses of wine. The slightly carbonized surface creates something like the substance found in a Brita water pitcher, filtering out impurities and improving the taste of the wine. That’s why we call it a toast when we raise a glass before we drink.