12 December 2012

Classic UK cuisine: the "toast sandwich"

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is reviving the mid-Victorian dish, which, unsurprisingly, consists of two slices of bread around a slice of toast...

The meal, costing 7.5 pence, was first promoted by Victorian food writer Mrs Beeton. It is taken from Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management which became a best-seller after its appearance 150 years ago...

The RSC's Dr John Emsley said: "You simply put a piece of dry toast between two slices of bread and butter, with salt and pepper to taste. I've tried it and it's surprisingly nice to eat and quite filling. "I would emphasise that toast sandwiches are also good at saving you calories as well as money, provided you only have one toast sandwich for lunch and nothing else."

The toast sandwich provides about 330 calories, and consumers could opt for the healthier alternative of margarine instead of butter - an ingredient not available to Mrs Beeton because she was writing her book before it was invented...

7 comments:

  1. I've been listening to an audiobook, "At Home: A Short History of Private Life" by Bill Bryson. He mentions "Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management" and her peculiar instructions for food, such as boiling pasta for an hour and a half. A toast sandwich could very well have been a Victorian snack, but it might have been an invention of Mrs. Beeton's, I think.

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    1. Was it petrified pasta? --A.

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  2. Not really sure that margarine is a "healthy" alternative. Butter sparingly used seems better to me.

    http://www.naturodoc.com/library/nutrition/margbutt.htm

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  3. It sounds invented by a kid. Mine was a mustard and pepper sandwich. Much more sophisticated than ketchup. --A.

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  4. My father spoke of 'bread & point'. The man of the house got some meat with his dinner, the kids got to wave their bread over it to absorb some aroma.

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    1. Interesting, Sue. I searched and found this in the Dictionary of PEI English:

      http://books.google.com/books?id=YegMG7bHE04C&pg=PA116&lpg=PA116&dq=%22bread+and+point%22&source=bl&ots=wF7ZyLFRFR&sig=7quzH8G18N386KbIguTz8i6DqLc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BALKUNyQLKn-iQL01oGgBQ&ved=0CGkQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=%22bread%20and%20point%22&f=false

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  5. If you think PEI usages are humorous/interesting, check out the Dictionary of Newfoundland English. Years ago, I read (I believe it was in the wonderful companion volume to the BBC TV documentary series "The Story of English") that the closest thing you would have heard to the English spoken today - at least by senior citizens - in the more remote Newfoundland villages would have been the English spoken in parts of Ireland about 300 years ago. I believe it!

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