I realized yesterday the issue that I have with toast. Let me back up a few steps from that statement though and explain myself. I love condiments. A meal feels incomplete to me if condiments are not involved. Bachelor fridge? Yep, that was me. (B has this annoying habit of insisting “real” food be kept in the fridge. It’s pushing my condiment space aside, sadly.)
So, one of the few acceptable condiments (per B) are peanut butter and jelly. Now I know most folks won’t agree that peanut butter is, in fact, condiments, but consider its characteristics: 1) spreadable 2) not stand alone (unless you are prepared to defend eating peanut butter with a spoon* as a socially acceptable stand alone food) and 3) its definition is a paste made from peanuts. One can argue that peanut butter has solid nutritional value, but so does salsa and it’s still a condiment.
My go-to easy snack is a piece of toast with peanut butter and jelly (not a sandwich – that is way to heavy on the bread to condiment ratio – this is open face, so I taste the condiments, not the bread). Sliced bread is a neutral in most flavor profiles (unless you get the fancy stuff) and is the perfect vehicle for condiments. However, most sliced bread is too weak to stand up to strong spreads. You fix this by toasting it, of course. I generally prefer a one on the toaster – just toasted enough to give structure to the bread, but it doesn’t even really *look* toasted (no toast marks and only slight color change). I could never put my finger on why, outside the obvious distaste of burnt bread, until yesterday.
Yesterday, I over toasted my bread for a PB&J slice. B likes his bread more toasted than I do, and I forgot to adjust the toaster for my tastes. It was set at about 2.5 on the toaster (a light golden with minor toast marks). Guys – did you know that toasted bread has a flavor?! Like, a different flavor from the neutral flavor of the bread?! I realize what all these people are tasting when they eat toast and they *like* it. It ruined the condiment delivery system for me. I need my toast to be just right – not too light, but not too dark to change the flavor of the bread.
*Not dissing eating peanut butter with a spoon, as I do this regularly. In fact, I mix peanut butter and nutella in a bowl and eat it as a snack at times. I’m just saying it’s not served this way in public, and there is a social stigma to the stand alone consumption of peanut butter.