Do French People Eat French Toast? The Surprising Truth!

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The French are generally known for their love of food and for their sophisticated cuisine.

If you’re lucky enough to have visited Paris (or any other French city), chances are you’ve probably tried some of the delicious French cuisine.

But what about French toast? Does it really exist in France? Let’s find out right away!

Do French People Eat French Toast?

French people do not tend to eat French toast. In fact, most don’t even know it exists! In France it is called ‘pain perdu’ which literally means ‘lost bread’ and is often eaten as a dessert. It is made with stale bread that is soaked in a mixture of beaten eggs, milk and vanilla extract.

Even though it is eaten as a dessert in France, French toast or ‘Pain Perdu’ is definitely not something that will generally be served when their are guests over.

Instead it is something to be eaten at home when there are no other people around.

In France, the reason French toast is called “pain perdu” (which means ‘lost bread’), is because the dish was made with stale bread that would otherwise have gone to waste.

French toast
French toast, or ‘Pain Perdu’

While it is true that the French do enjoy their share of bread and pastries, French toast is not a traditional dish in France.

In France, a typical breakfast consists of some form of baked product such as a croissant or baguette, with jam or butter and coffee.

They don’t tend to eat an extensive breakfast like people in other parts of the world do, such as eggs, bacon and toast.

The French will often eat their breakfast at home, but there are also many cafes and restaurants that serve breakfast.

It is common for the French to grab a coffee and croissant on their way to work or school.

If you are visiting France as a tourist, you may be able to find some French toast on the menu of a café or restaurant.

But in order to truly experience French culture I would personally recommend sticking to the traditional breakfast foods.

I mean it would be a shame to go all the way over there and not try some of the delicious bread products they offer up so well, right?

What Countries Eat French Toast?

The countries that do tend to know and eat French toast are: the United States, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Ireland. French toast has actually nothing to do with France. It became popular in the United States in the early 1920s and was originally called “poor man’s toast”.

Up until this day, French toast tends to be most popular in the United States, where it is often eaten as a breakfast or brunch item.

In the United States French toast tends to be served with syrup, powdered sugar and sometimes also served with fruit, bacon, ham or sausage.

In Australia, French toast is known as “eggy bread” or “french-fried bread”, which is because the Australian version is made with a thick slice of bread that is dipped in an egg mixture and then fried.

French toast topped with strawberries and blueberreis
French toast topped with strawberries and blueberries

In New Zealand, French toast is also known as “eggy bread” and is usually served with a sweet topping such as honey, syrup or chocolate sauce.

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, French toast is usually referred to as “toastie” or “Frenchy”.

In the Netherlands, French toast is known as ‘Wentelteefje’. Wentelteefjes are also usually dipped in a mixture of egg, milk, cinnamon and sugar before being fried and then usually eaten for breakfast.

So, the answer to the original question is that, while the French do not generally eat French toast for breakfast, other countries around the world do enjoy this dish.

Is French Toast A Breakfast Food?

In the United States, where French toast is most popular, the dish tends to be considered a breakfast food. As French toast is made with ingredients that are commonly found in a breakfast meal, such as eggs and bread, it is a logical breakfast choice for many.

In other countries however, such as the United Kingdom and Ireland, it is not uncommon for French toast to be consumed for lunch or dinner, especially if it is made with bacon or ham.

It can also be consumed as a dessert if served with fruit and syrup, especially in New Zealand where the dish is known as “eggy bread”.

French toast topped with banana and walnuts
French toast topped with banana and walnuts

In Conclusion

So, there you have it!

French people do not tend to eat French toast.

The term ‘French toast’ is actually not even a well-known thing in France, as it is more generally known as ‘Pain Perdu’, which literally means ‘lost bread’.

Instead of a breakfast dish, French toast (or Pain Perdu as they call it in France) is sometimes eaten as a dessert in France.

French people generally tend to eat a simple and small breakfast such as a croissant with coffee.

French toast is a big thing in America, not France. In America, where the dish is most popular, French toast is usually served with syrup and powdered sugar.

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