Bread dipped in an egg/milk mixture, then fried in a skillet…nothing better than French toast on a Saturday morning, right? Do the French call it, “Toast” in France? Let’s see…
Actually, recipes for “French toast” can be traced Ancient Roman times. One of the original French names for this dish is pain a la Romaine’, or Roman bread. According to the Apicius, a collection of recipes from the early 5th century AD, the dish we now know as the French toast existed as early as the age of the Roman Empire.
This dish does have its origins in France, where it is known as “ameritte” or *pain perdu* (“lost bread”), a term that has persisted, in Creole and Cajun cookery; in Spain it is called “torriga” and in England “Poor Knights of Windsor,” which is the same name for the dish in Denmark, “arme riddere,” and Germany, “arme ritter.” At one time or another in America it has been referred to as “Spanish,” “German,” or “nun’s toast,” and its first appearance in print as “French Toast” was in 1871.
In the south of France, it was traditionally eaten on feast days, particularly at Easter.
North Americans call it French toast for very similar reasons as to why they call fried potato strips “French fries”. Simply that they were popularized in America by French immigrants.