January 29, 2014: Toast

As bizarre (or silly) as this may sound, toast is being touted as the next hot artisanal food trend. Yes, toast.

An article in the January/February issue of Pacific Standard magazine says toast is selling for $3 to $4 a slice in and around San Francisco. One coffee shop the author found actually boasted a “Toast Bar.” (The origin of the trend and the entrepreneur who started it is actually a heart-wrenching story, and well worth reading the original article.)

Although the article’s author, John Gravois, explains there’s already been some pushback, writing, “For a few weeks $4 toast became a rallying cry in the city’s media-an instant parable and parody of the shallow, expensive new San Francisco…” he also thought the trend would soon “go national.”

Gravois was right. Two weeks ago, New York magazine reported spotting “toast menus”┬áin two area restaurants. The trend may not be as whimsical as it sounds. Artisanal bread has been hot for a while, and turning it into toast is a logical next step. It certainly makes sense for owners of coffee shops and restaurants to test the trend. After all, all you need is bread and a toaster.