Travel by Toast
National Geographic Traveller India|May 2020
IN THESE RESTRICTIVE TIMES, HERE’S A LIST OF CLASSIC BREAD-BASED PREPARATIONS THAT ARE A PORTAL TO THEIR CULINARY HOMELANDS
Julian Manning

For most of us, the way we eat has been affected by COVID-19. During a lockdown nobody is thinking of making Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon or Vikas Khanna’s Masala Cornish hens; if they’re at all like me, they’re mechanically muttering the words, “Maggi, eggs, bread, milk,” while they wait in line to enter the market. Yet, even with sparse food supplies, it is possible to bring excitement into the kitchen.

For a lot of people, cooking is a form of travel. Making a meal, simple or complicated, often is about establishing a connection between peoples and cultures, whether it be fond memories of familial specialities or dreams of faraway delicacies. It’s a jumble of similarities and differences, a variety of tastes and flavours, even when it concerns as straightforward a starting point as plain, old toast.

BRING ON THE BREAD

Bread, in some form or another, is eaten by almost all communities around the globe. Even during this crisis, people waking up in Malaysia start their day with a smear of kaya, a luscious, buttery coconut jam spread on airy toast, while in Morocco, a golden, honey-infused mixture is still drizzled upon thick slices of warm bread in the morning. You too, can wake up like a Malaysian or Moroccan for a day. All you need is a bit of bread, plus a few additional ingredients, some readily available during the lockdown in India, and others perhaps gathering dust in your pantry.

For the recipes go to: www.natgeotraveller.in/travel-bytoast-27- ways-to-make-breakfast-from-around-the-world

FRENCH TOAST

This classic actually dates back all the way to the Roman Empire to a first century A.D. recipe book, Apicius. In France, this dish is known as “pain perdu,” which means “lost bread,” referring to the use of stale bread that was rejuvenated after soaking in milk and eggs before it was fried. While many modern-day recipes call for ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup, in its essence French toast merely requires milk, eggs, and bread… and, of course, a knob of butter.

RABANADAS

These are a version of French toast that originated in Portugal and are very popular in Brazil. Just swap out the milk for good ol’ red wine and add a bit of cinnamon.

EGG WITH A HAT OR EGG IN A HOLE

Cut a circular hole in a slice of bread, throw it on a buttery frying pan, and crack an egg into the centre to experience this two-in-one American breakfast combo.

KAYA TOAST

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