Fastfood

Don't say you haven't tried Toast
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The Independent Culture
Toast is enjoying a bit of a renaissance. The staple diet of many a culinarily-challenged human, toast is the only thing that keeps thousands from starvation. Just think, toast is probably the easiest quick meal to assemble and you can put as much effort into it as you like, or simply slap on some butter and the jam of your choice. Of course, as with all good ideas, the permutations are endless. Toast goes with everything.

At Damien Hirst's latest venture, the much-publicised and hyper-trendy Pharmacy restaurant in Notting Hill, the entire bar menu is dedicated to toast. There you can choose from your basic boiled eggs and soldiers combination (pounds 2.75) to the more decadent option of sevruga caviar and creme fraiche on Melba toast (a snip at pounds 35). The matter of toast-making apparatus also seems to have fallen victim to fashion, and just when you thought the pounds 100 or so invested in your shiny Dualite toaster was adequate, the word is the latest must-have toast-making accessory is a stainless steel job designed by the Italian Gae Aulenti (pounds 68.50 from David Mellor, 4 Sloane Square) with the word TOAST emblazoned on the side (just in case you forget what it's supposed to do). If all that is not testimony enough, a chic eatery in Leeds called Normans has a door made of toast - well, toast embedded in wax, which was then covered in Perspex by the artist Tracy Davidson.

If you prefer to eat it rather than walk through it, a quick poll voted Mother's Pride as being the best toast-making bread, offering the almost perfect consistency. Other varieties nominated included malted granary, but the general consensus was: brown bread makes terrible toast. The whiter the bread, the better.

So why, then, does Murphy's law always apply to pieces of toast which fall on the floor buttered-side down? Apparently it has nothing to do with the tumbling-toast effect, the aerodynamics of only one side being buttered. The key reason is gravity, and, of course, the height of your table as a slice of toast doesn't have time to spin all the way round before it hits the floor, buttered-side down.

Aoife O' Riordain

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