Yes, it’s happening. It’s happening right now. Thick, chewy and soft slices of artisan bread are being toasted and topped with elegant spreads as we speak. It’s fancy toast, in layman’s terms, and it is surfacing as the new trendy eats.
The culprit is a small and obscure coffee shop tucked away in San Francisco serving up colossal cinnamon toasts. Or it could be the timely recycling of an old-time classic. Regardless of its origins, or what’s gotten the whole country mad about toast, one thing is for sure, menus all over are being devoted to this mighty culinary vehicle. It’s even made the long haul across the Pacific and into Malaysia as an emerging street food.
Of course, toast isn’t a new thing. What humbly started as a method to make stale bread more palatable, eventually turned toast into the forgotten side item, laying cold and unbuttered on a breakfast plate. But this movement has certainly brought back toast from the dusty shelves, and with style. After all, these aren’t your average, middle-of-the-road slices of bread. In fact, forget what you might think you know, because this new generation of toast will impress even the most skeptical.
Think combinations like watermelon and goat cheese, or chicken liver mousse and crispy pig ears. The toppings range from outlandish to ordinary and sweet to savory. Whatever the ingredients, toast is the ideal medium to layer flavor profiles. However, one thing these posh toasts have in common is quality bread. Restauranteurs will often make it a point to use local, artisan loaves. Forget day-old bread and bags of pre-cut rye. These toasts start off with slices of rosemary sourdough, cranberry dark rye and buttery brioche.
These traits are what elevate artisan toast from its cousin, the open-faced sandwich or its very distant relative, the panini.
“Toast is a canvas that allows for a more refined presentation and allows us to stack flavors rather than smash them all together,” Jack Twachtman, owner of BREW 5 Points, said.
While BREW carries artisan toasts for their own reasons, it does offer Jacksonville an opportunity to try toast reinvented. So, if you want to get in on this hot trend or just want a nice, hearty snack, try one of BREW’s several rotating combinations like The Basic B!#$H with miso butter, avocado, shaved radish and chili oil atop a slice of Community Loaves sourdough wheat toast. Sounds down right mighty and sophisticated.