A Tale of Two Toasts: Artisanal Toast As The Epicenter of Foodie Culture

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hat’s in a name that which we call a toast by any other name would taste as good. Take a simple toast, which in earlier days was considered a simple side on perhaps a continenal breakfast, now at the forefront of menu’s accross the globe, and even the entire concept for some.

Whether it’s avocado, assorted fruits, even “fairy dust”  known to grace the covers of toast,  we can’t seem to get enough of it! John Gravois first noted the rise of the artisanal bread trend when he wrote “The Toast Story” for Pacific Standard, he referred to it as the “tip of the hipster” spear back in 2014.

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he toast contagion as Gravois called it, spread quickly and the eye-roll and mockery, spread just as quick as these “artisanal” pieces of toast would go for $4 and in most recent years have seen a huge price increase. Millennials, armed with social media, fueled the trend even more with their #foodie pics and eventually creating the ever so popular avocado toast.

As someone who once had a $14 piece of toast at Tartine Manufactory, a breakfast spot in San Francisco, I can relate to the mockery and the outrage at the insanity of it all. But at the same time, marvel at the creativity and genius of taking something so simple as a slice of bread, and turning it into something more grandeur.

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also believe, the visual appeal of these toasts in combination with our validation-seeking selves and Instagram helped morph foodie culture into what it is now. The novelty of artisinal toast is what got us snapping in the first place, “Look people, this is NOT your average toast, and thus it must be documented.” The artisanal toast trend led to other things that did not need enhancement per say, be morphed into something more “Instagram” friendly, like bubble waffle cones, cotton candy burritos, creme brulee pancakes, unicorn bagels, and the list goes on and on and on…

It seems like food now serves more of an aesthetically pleasing object than something that offers nutritional value. Not to mention how detrimental this foodie culture has become to our dining experiences, as in YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH THE FOOD UNTIL YOUR PARTNER, FRIEND, FAMILY MEMBER has snapped it. (I am of course guilty of participating in this insane type of behavior.)

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here do we go from here? Are we destined to forever snap our foods and live off of cold plates for the rest of this simulation like on some episode of Black Mirror? Or are we capable of bringing awareness back to the dining table? I would like to believe that we are capable  of going back to the latter, but also curious to see how much our eating habits will change along with the rise of tech, ever changing social networks, and the future generations.

Meanwhile, I will keep working on mastering the art of artisanal toast, one slice at a time.

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