Pain perdu

“Pain perdu” — literally “lost bread”, the french term for what Americans call french toast. The idea of “lost bread” derives from the fact that bread in France is usually bought as a baguette, baked so as to be soft and delicious for just a single day. After that the bread starts to become hard and to lose its freshness. Bread that has been “lost” in this way is repurposed to make what we in the U.S. call french toast.

“Pain perdu” is indeed a fabulous term. When a french friend explained it to me, I told him it sounded like Marcel Proust’s famous memoir, except it would need to have a slightly different title: “À la recherche du pains perdu” — which might be a nostalgic multi-volume memoir about french toast.

When I said that, my friend laughed and told me that such a memoir would have to talk about Proust’s old girlfriend Madeleine (which makes sense if you’ve read Proust).

So I told him that in England the recipe might show up in a memoir by Lady MacBeth about her annoying little dog Spot (the one who is aways running underfoot, and never wants to go out when he’s supposed to). 😉

One Response to “Pain perdu

  1. mari says:

    I think our version involves a bit of rum… 🙂

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