Today I’ve been thinking alot about the usual things undergrads have to deal with (ie ‘how long till my creditors knock on the door?’) and things which only I would probably think about in my spare time (ie ‘How do I start a religion based on the teachings of Beethoven?’).
But I find everything that’s crossed my mind either too mundane to write about, or too complex to translate into words. Which has brought me back to the Reagan, Almonds, and Mustard Manifesto for inspiration. I have now come to the realization that the series I planned to write about toast has yet to come to be. I shall now address this glaring oversight.
Toast is perhaps one of the most remarkable, and yet criminally neglected gastronomic item I can think of. It is the motherload of all staple foods. Is there truly a more satisfying experience than to wake up in the morning, knowing you don’t have time for a complicated breakfast, and yet still squeeze in enough time before you walk out the door for two pieces of delicious, buttered toast washed down by a cup of tea or coffee? Toast is always there to please you, you ungrateful consumers of pre-packaged,pre-cooked foods.
On a Monday you will find workers in a smart office, cooing over an overcooked piece of fish they bought at the latest pretentious eatery in the designer district, or telling a tale about what wonderfully strange vegetable or fruit their “exotic” (brown) friend introduced them to at a dinner in their home. But dare they exhort the wondrous giver of life which imbued them with the strength to make the ardous journey from the front door, to their car, and again from the car, through the office parking lot and to their desk? No. And this is what is wrong with the world. Human-kinds inability, or rather unwillingness to express righteous gratitude for such a simple, wonderful, and important pleasure as is to be had from a well-prepared piece of toast.
Now let us consider different foods, and their stature in the culinary world. Take for example Japanese shiitake mushrooms.
When was the last time you had a shiitake mushroom? How many shiitake mushrooms do you think you have consumed in your lifetime? When you feel depressed and are in need of a wholesome food that reminds you of home or your childhood, do you say “Gee, I could really go for some shiitake mushrooms right now!”.
Now, I don’t have anything against shiitake mushrooms, I think they’re quite nice. But the percentage of people on this planet who are privileged enough to afford having tried such a food just once is rather tiny. I have yet to meet anyone who says that these rather expensive mushrooms are an essential part of their diet. I probably would not like this person either whoever they are (they probably abstain from meat, and use the words “collective”, “sustainable”, and “expropriation” as part of their regular vocabulary).
bread is not without its merits – its chief merit being that it is the primary ingredient of toast.
toast is not bread. bread is the potentiality , toast is the actuality