March 23, 2013

National Melba Toast Day

“The noise from good toast should reverberate in the head like the thunder of July." - E.V. Lucas

It's National Melba Toast Day!

While some food holidays may make you scratch your head, others make total sense because they're celebrating a food that's either iconically Americana or are just so universally loved that of course they deserve a whole day to be honored! Other food holidays might make you genuinely excited, because up until that point you may have thought you were the only person in the world who loved it so much you thought it deserved a day of recognition...

That's exactly how I feel about National Melba Toast Day!

Melba toast - a very thin, very crunchy "toast" (it's more like a cracker, in my opinion) - is believed to have been named after the Australian opera singer Dame Nellie Melba (the same woman the dessert peach melba was coined for) by French chef Auguste Escoffier.

For a long time I was opposed to trying melba toast. I blame this entirely on the Garbage Pail Kids series. One of their cards featured a small child named "Melba" in the shape of toast, burned, and shooting out of a flaming toaster. It kind of grossed me out, and because of that association I never had any interest in trying the food. However, when I began exploring a plant-based diet, the boy I was seeing at the time introduced me to his favorite snack which happened to be - you guessed it - melba snacks and locally-made green olive hummus. It became an instant favorite of mine, too. It's been years since I first discovered the incredible textural pairing of hard, crunchy melba crackers dipped in cold, creamy hummus. I was thrilled to be able to go back to my roots as a plant-eater today and enjoy this snack again. Unfortunately, the salty, green olive hummus I loved so much is no longer being made; still craving a "bite" of some kind, I decided to go with a spicy option instead.

What do you top your melba toast with?

Happy National Melba Toast Day!