Hot or cold - that’s the crunch question

OTHERS will disagree with my view, but I am not a fan of breakfast, never have been.

I like to stay in bed for as long as possible then have a splash and dash off to work rather than set aside time for a morning meal.

Some people swear by a fried breakfast with all the trimmings getting their day off to a wonderful start, but the only time I would eat one is when I stay at a hotel and have pre-paid for the meal.

If I am tempted to nosh something first thing at home, it’s more than likely that I’d choose toast which has been nicely browned and thickly spread with melting butter and maybe some strawberry jam. Marmalade would not usually spring to mind.

Even so, my attention was caught the other day by a news item concerning the orange spread and grilled bread.


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An academic had spent much time and effort in trying to determine the best way to enjoy the breakfast preserve.

He concluded that the marmalade should be thin cut and spread on cold toast, an idea which could make many traditionalists choke on their grub. They would much prefer their marmalade to be thick enough to get stuck in their teeth and laid on a bed of, as I like it, warm toast and melted butter.

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Undaunted by this reaction, Prof Christopher Smith, who is co-director of the Manchester Food Research Centre, insists that his recipe is best.

For the perfect crunch, says the expert, the toast, always white, should be heated for one minute at 220C (428F) then cooled for 10 minutes in a well ventilated room.

On top of it should go 7.1g (0.25oz) of lightly salted butter along with 1.2g (0.4oz) of fine cut marmalade. Peel should be between 1.5mm and 4mm thick.

I don’t know about you, but I would be well past eating the snack long before all the preparation was complete.

But the learned boffin thinks it is worth it, explaining that the resistant crunch of the cold toast provides a perfect contrast to the velvety yielding marmalade as zingy orange flavours explode across the palate, releasing endorphins in the brain.

But that does not impress other experts. National press food writer Rose Prince was quoted as saying: “I simply do not get the cold toast preference.

“The mix of tart but sweet orange jelly and melting butter on toast is one of the happiest unions in the history of breakfast.”

I think I won’t bother – make mine a boiled egg with buttered cold white bread soldiers. Yummy!

If I am eating with others, on what should the meal be served?

I was amused to read that deliberately mis-matched crockery, with no plates or cups being the same, is the latest craze to hit the UK.

Apparently, it is a fad which started last year in trendy restaurants and has spread to homes all over the country.

I hate to break this to the trendsetters but it is the sort of thing we have been doing – not deliberately - in our house for years.

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