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Butter on toast - the first slice

On the subject of bread and butter, the world stands divided. It'd be mighty naive of me to call it a bilateral split, though!

Every person has his definition of the ideal 'butter on toast' or the 'buttered toast'. What's important is not the breakfast staple itself, but the opinions that divide people and encourage discussions, and at times, a passionate debate!

In the same spirit, Butter on Toast, my new blog, will acknowledge polarizing opinions on food and venture to discuss them with equal passion! Most of these posts will be short, specific, and salty enough to leave a lingering taste in your mouth. What I look forward to is hearing your take on the topics with as much enthusiasm!

Okay, scratch the short bit. Considering my love for food, some of them may not be short, but I promise you they'll be darn interesting!

Speaking of which, let's talk about butter on toast. 😋

Though I said that this preference is highly nuanced, there are predominantly two categories of patrons here. The sort of folks who like to butter their bread after it toasting it, as I do, or the other ridiculous bunch who think buttering their bread prior, is the right way to go.

Coming from a hot and humid country like India, I relate to the significance of storing the butter in a refrigerated environment as against a pantry. So, it won't come as a surprise when I talk about the painful task of buttering a slice of bread with solidified butter! It's like trying to grease a brick with dried cement! Now, you COULD let the butter thaw before slathering it on the bread. But, I REFUSE to spend thirty minutes on a vanilla dish that will last me less than a minute!

Not to mention the various kinds of bread that make pre-buttering a mild discomfort in the best-case scenario and a 'mission impossible' in the worst! Most non-crumbly variants like the sourdough or focaccia are kind towards pre-buttering, while flimsy bread such as the milk and gluten-free variants leave a breadcrumb trail longer than Hansel and Gretel did.

P.S. Considering that focaccia is pretty much bathed in olive oil while baking it, heaven knows why someone would want to butter it in the first place!

To ease the argument, let's assume that we are working with a highly versatile piece of bread that does not discriminate on the buttering technique. But the buttering technique itself depends on the kind of toasting method we use. A skillet or pan-toasted bread is always beautiful when pre-seasoned. But then again, toast it on high flame, and you'd probably end up with bread flavoured charcoal! On the other hand, I wouldn't dare to butter my bread before popping it into a pop-up toaster.

No sir, I am not fond of pyrotechnics that involves burning down my house!

Anyway, for most people, it also comes down to the 'feel' of it. Buttering the bread before toasting ensures that the slice soaks it all in, provided you don't use a block of frozen butter. 🤣 In that case, the butter will sit on top of the bread until it hits the pan, where it will quickly sizzle and fizzle out without lending any flavour to the bread itself!

But say you were smart and used room temperature butter. The resultant product will have a different flavour profile altogether. The butter alters the bread, and the bread alters the butter.

Butter on toast, however, is like an afterthought of flavour. Dry crunchy toast hits the bottom of your mouth, while the salty richness of the butter hits the top. And when the two meet, you leave your physical form behind and take a lap around the universe. In all honesty, I think my butter may have had some additives. 😅

Of course, this buttering dilemma becomes grave when you think of complex dishes that involve toast. But, in its purest form, you can go wrong with neither technique.

We will continue to eat bread and butter in one form or another until the end of time. So really, our preference in the way we butter our toast also speaks to the kind of people we are or want to be.

You are either a purist who wants to experience every ingredient in its full glory or a romantic who believes in the marriage of flavours to create a new identity.

You are either a minimalist who prefers to spend the appropriate amount on their piece of toast or an artist who would pull out all the stops for the perfect slice of heaven.

You are either a person who likes buttered toast or a person who likes butter on toast.

So, which one are you? 🙂

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