08 February, 2008
Tastes Like Chicken: A Pallete Expansion History, Part 1
I guess if I had to pinpoint when I first starting cooking by myself, I would certainly name toast as one of my first culinary pursuits. And while I imagine most people have the exact same answer in naming this as their first successful tango with cooking because of the uncomplicated process it requires, I personally cannot say I started with it because it was something “easy” to make. In fact, the reason I starting making my own toast was for the exact opposite reason: I didn’t think anyone else could make it right. According to me,” toasting” was actually quite the art.
My mother never toasted the bread long enough, which resulted in what was essentially a warmed piece of bread. There was no crisp. My father on the other hand took the liberty of applying unforgivable amounts of butter to each slice that came out of the toaster - taking away any of the crisp the slice had gained while standing next to the electric wires. Even as a 2nd grader, this was not acceptable. I understood the concept of "calories" and that they were bad, so the only condiment I let touch my toast was honey (it’s all natural). Furthermore, his distribution of the butter was, for lack of a better word, “uneven”, which resulted in a pool of butter weighing down the middle, surrounded by a tasteless, butter-less crust.
Additionally, they both neglected what I considered to be the most important aspect of toasting: rotating the bread. You may have noticed that toaster factories seemingly have failed to take into consideration the actual measurements of your average slice of bread. This oversight means that the consumer is sometimes left with a piece of bread that is only ¾ toasted, because the final ¼ of the piece sticks out of the top, cold and sodden, never actually gaining access to any heat. What's the point of making toast if the end product contains parts still untoasted?
The art of toasting is very much open to interpretation and much like a life philosophy, should continue evolving as you evolve. I mean, you can't just keep eating toast the same way for your entire life, right?