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Awesome French Toast

NUTS and FRUIT! I’m talking about pecans, walnuts, or the tasty toasted nuts of your choice. Wait – how about fruit? Strawberries, banana slices, assorted berries, and more. Adding that flavor boost to a classic breakfast recipe is a great way to propel a boring dish to something spectacular.

Try this French Toast recipe with your own twists! Here is too quick and easy. Versions of these can be found in my Tennessee Hometown Cookbook as well as the Georgia Hometown Cookbook. Hope you enjoy!

But… wait a second… before I go any further… who invented French Toast? Heck, I had to know!

Is French Toast Really French?

The earliest known reference to French toast comes from a collection of Latin recipes dating to the 4th or 5th century called “the Apicius.” Instead of “French Toast” it’s actually called “aliter dulcia” which translates to “another sweet dish.” The simple recipe says to…

“slice fine white bread, remove the crust, and break it into large pieces. Soak these pieces in milk and beaten egg, fry in oil, and cover with honey before serving.”

But, further research shows a recipe dating back to the fourteenth-century and a German recipe known as “Arme Ritter” or “poor knights” bread/breakfast. Similar recipes show up in old English writings, Nordic languages, and even a dish referred to by 15th century culinary expert Martino da Como using the word “soup” in the description. Basically, Martino da Como offers a recipe for something like “French Toast” consisting of bread dipped in a “soup” of egg and cream/milk and then fried in oil/butter.

Throughout culinary history – the rather simple recipe of dipping bread, fresh or stale, in a mixture of milk and bread seems to have been a staple. It’s been called French Toast, lost bread, golden bread, poor knights bread and even “Furry Bread” – don’t need to know the background of that version!

Long story short – people have been dipping bread in milk and eggs and then frying in butter, oil, fat or lard for quite a long time!

French Toast With Fruit & Nuts
6 pieces wheat bread
(Texas Toast, French Bread, your choice)
2 eggs beaten
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla coffee creamer
1 teaspoon cinnamon
sliced peaches or bananas or strawberries
Set bread to the side and combine all ingredients in a bowl that is deep enough to dip bread in. Mix well and dip bread in mix. Cook on griddle until golden brown. Top with fruit, powdered sugar, butter and syrup. You can also add chopped pecans etc for bonus flavor.


Kent Whitaker, also known as "The Deck Chef," is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He's also penned Young Reader and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motor sports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill.

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