The rich of San Francisco have found a new way to flaunt their wealth – buying artisanal toast.
Bakeries and cafes in the city have been cashing in on the wealth of the resident Silicon Valley high flyers by selling gourmet toast made with ‘Josey Baker sourdough’, featuring toppings such as ‘smallbatch almond butter’ and ‘sour strawberry jam’.
One San Franciscan blogger for Venturebeat.com complained that he paid a whopping $4 (£2.40) for a single slice of toast coated with the preserve at a café called The Mill, which also offers the nutty butter option.
He said: ‘It was an experiment in upper-middle class lifestyle consumerism. In San Francisco, flaunting your wealth has been elevated to new lows, if you will. We overspend on the simplest facets of life.’
A writer for the Pacific Standard believes the gourmet toast fad in San Francisco can be traced back to a coffee shop called Trouble.
From there it spread across the city – but it’s reached Britain’s shores, too.
Food writer and self-confessed ‘toast junkie’ Tonia George, for example, sells artisan toast at her Ginger & White cafes in London.
Menu highlights include flour station sourdough toast - £3.50 for two slices - and Somerset salted butter, according to The Guardian.
Bakery chain Gail’s offers toast made from 30 varieties of bread, costing £2.50 for two slices – and E5 Bakehouse in Hackney charges £1 for a slice of sourdough toast.
It charges £2.95 for two slices of toast, with a whole variety of bread on offer, including rye, walnut or sourdough.
Further evidence of toast’s elevated status in Britain came last year when the Federation of Bakers produced Eau de Toast perfume for London Fashion Week.
It boasted ‘yeast top notes with a hint of caramel combined with complementary bitter-sweet and malty base notes to help give the overall impression of freshly toasted bread’.