Have you ever heard of torrijas?
A Spanish Sweet dessert where slices of bread dipped in milk and beaten eggs and fried in oil.
Traditionally, it is prepared during the Easter celebrations and at lent.
If you think this dish sounds similar to French toast, it is because torrijas are a variant of French toast.
Both versions of this bread-based dessert have their peculiarities, and it’s up to you to decide which one that you like best.
In this post, we’ll learn more about torrijas and French toast and highlight what sets each of them apart.
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Torrijas Vs. French toast
It may be difficult to distinguish between torrijas and French toasts on appearance alone.
Both dishes are made with slices of stale bread dipped in egg and milk, then pan-fried until they are golden brown and crispy.
However, there are a few things thing that are more peculiar to each; In torrijas, the bread is often fried in olive oil while French toasts are more commonly cooked in butter.
Also, the bread is dipped separately into the milk and egg in torrijas, while in French toast, the egg and milk are combined into a single bowl where the bread gets dipped into.
Another thing that is peculiar to torrijas is that in some recipes the bread is also soaked in wine.
What is torrijas?
Torrijas are a Spanish variant of the French toast.
Many people that have tasted both would argue that torrijas have a richer flavor compared to French toast.
It is made from leftover bread; traditionally a day-old bread, but any dense loaf of bread that is cut into slices can be used.
The Leftover bread is first soaked in milk for a few minutes and then in beaten eggs.
In some versions of this dish, the leftover bread could also be soaked in wine or some rum. The bread is also pan fried in olive oil until the exterior is crispy
The slices can also be topped with sugar and cinnamon powder for more flavor once they are taken off the pan
Torrijas are a cheap source of nutrition. They are commonly eaten for dessert
In Spain, they are popularly eaten during Lent and Easter, although they are also available all year round too
What is French toast?
French toast is popular in the US. Typically eaten for breakfast or brunch.
Contrary to what the name might suggest, this recipe dates back to as far back as ancient Roman times.
The earlier recipes of this dish can be found in ancient Roman cookbooks.
French toast consists of slices of bread which are soaked into a mixture of beaten egg and milk, after which they are pan-fried until golden brown and crispy
Artisan or day-old bread may can be used to make French toast.
The bread used should be able to soak in the egg and milk mixture without falling apart.
Different sweet or savory ingredients can be added to the mixture.
Sugar and cinnamon could also be added before pan frying.
For a more savory recipe, salt or pepper could be added before it is pan fried
French toast could feature a variety of toppings including jam, honey, sugar, fruits or butter.
It may also be topped with ketchup or mayonnaise.
Why is stale bread used for French toast
Another name for French toast is pain Perdue which means “lost bread” as this dish is made with bread that is stale.
Day old slices of bread are soaked in a mixture of egg and bread, and then pan-fried.
French toast and torrijas are therefore an efficient way to use bread that is stale.
The leftover bread is dense. The denser the bread, the more it can withstand the soaking in milk.
The stale bread also soaks up more milk compared to fresher breads which may fall apart when soaked in the milk.