French toast is not a French culinary invention, but rather dates back to the first century of ancient Rome.
The History of French Toast
A recipe for what we currently call French toast appears in a Latin language cookbook called Apicius de re Coquinaria (a collection of Roman cookery recipes).
References to French toast since the fall of the Roman Empire continued to show up throughout European history.
In the 14th century, the Germans have a record of calling the recipe “arme ritter” or “poor knights bread.”
In the Middle Ages of Europe, the French royal cook Taillevent wrote a cookbook, Le Viandier, which included a recipe for “golden bread.”
It is thought that the term “French toast” started in the 17th century in England and early settlers brought the recipe with them to America where it continued to spread in popularity.
Currently in France, they call the recipe “pain perdu” which means “lost bread.”
Though in French history they called it “pain a la Romaine,” or Roman toast before it gained its current name.
That’s the culinary history in short about who invented French Toast.
If you think about it though, bread was invented in Ancient Egypt around 5000 B.C.E. So the chance of French toast becoming a thing even before the Romans is a possibility.
But with what we know today, it started with the Roman’s, and has became an international food item, loved by all world wide to this day.
Strawberry Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar depending on desired sweetness level
1 teaspoon vanilla
⅓ cup diced strawberries
4 thick slices challah bread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a medium sized mixing bowl stir together mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste and diced strawberries.
Lay out challah bread and spread 1 tablespoon butter on one side of each slice of bread.
Flip two slices over and spread half of the mascarpone mixture on each slice of bread. Top with other half of bread, butter side up.
Add to a large skillet or griddle set over medium heat. Heat until the underside is golden brown, flip and cook the other side till golden brown.
Plate and top with powdered sugar, more strawberries and maple syrup (if desired).
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