Tuesday, March 31, 2009


This post is for my friend kendalee who loves toast (and who is exploring her amazing alter egos on her blog at the moment), and also for all others who have a special affinity for it.
"Toasted bread for this man of norms and principles is almost a vice and truly a manifestation of uncontrollable greed, wherein enter multiple sensations, both of vision and touch, as well as of smell and taste, beginning with that gleaming chrome-plated toaster, then the knife cutting slices of bread, the aroma of toasted bread, the butter melting, and finally that mouth-watering taste, so difficult to describe, in one's mouth, on one's palate, tongue and teeth, to which that ineffable dark pellicle sticks, browned yet soft, and once more that aroma, now deep down, the person who invented such a delicacy deserves to be in heaven."
(from The History of the Siege of Lisbon, by José Saramago, translated by Giovanni Pontiero)

Here's to toast.


Alexandra Hedberg said...

i must say I don't get the magic of the toast. The English people are crazy about it and it just makes me long for dark and compact German or Danish bread. Baguette I can take ... for a few weeks, but then: longing for dark and healthy bread full of fibers

Sarah said...

I love toast! It is my favourite food! I did spend many years mainly living on it when I was a poor student, then a poor unemployed person, then a poor working person! I love that quote-toast is worthy of such a description.

kendalee said...

Thank you my friend - what a GREAT description! I'm stuck in a grotty hotel room and am transported by Mr Saramago's words to a more comfortable place, where I can share in the vice and the pleasure that is toast... Just what I needed! xx

Stephanie said...

Agreed. Nothing like a slice of warm, buttery toast - perfection in a simple thing.

I need a toaster!

aimee said...

that man can spin words like no other, can't he? or 'toast' them, in this case.

i LOVE toast! although i have to admit that i burn it a LOT. i'm a lousy cook.

karina Manghi said...

Sometimes when I am in bad humour I make myself a toast and think how lucky I am to can enjoy it!

Anairam said...

alexandra - I also like dark bread - especially dark(ish) rye bread - and it toasts very well too - try it - with some butter and honey - mmmmm

sarah - Aaaah - being a poor student is never easy - fortunately I lived at home when I was studying so still got fed very well.

kendalee - I think all hotel rooms should come with a toaster and some bread and a pat of butter in the mini-bar!

stephanie - My favourite is with butter and a little honey. And when I feel off-colour, there is nothing as reviving as a piece of toast with Marmite or Bovril. Yummy yum yum.

aimee - It took some time to get into the long paragraphs with two speakers' words separated by commas, but I am enjoying it! I think the translation is really excellent - sometimes you can pick up that a book has been translated, but this reads beautifully in English ...

karina - What a lovely simple way to enjoy what life has to offer and be thankful for it!