Why Anthony Bourdain Couldn't Get On Board With English Muffins

There is a good chance that, as you're reading these words, there is a pack of English muffins somewhere in your house. Whether it's your freezer, bread box, or your pantry, they're there, patiently waiting for that one day when nothing else will do and you just have to have an English muffin to go along with your breakfast. Just know that, while you might be enjoying it, Anthony Bourdain is judging you. 

Known for his unique, individual opinions on everything from hollandaise sauce to fast food burger joints, Bourdain was no fan of English muffins. According to Restaurant Clicks, he believed them to be soggy and that there was no toasting method that would get them properly crisp. As indicated by an episode of "Parts Unknown", where Bourdain visited London in the immediate wake of Brexit, he liked his toast crispy and dripping with grease. 

Bourdain's dislike for the English muffins likely extended from his general dislike for brunch and, egg's Benedict in particular. However, to his specific point that English muffins are too soggy and don't toast, well, is that actually true?

Intentionally porous

In a way, yes, it is true. However, it's all a matter of preference. One could view them as soggy, as Bourdain does, while yet another can view them as perfectly toasted. Still, English muffins are designed in a very specific way that helps them absorb external flavors better than other types of bread. 

English muffins are defined by their open crumb. This porous nature helps a variety of toppings, like butter, Bourdain's reviled hollandaise sauce, and marmalade, absorb into the body of the muffin and flavor it throughout. Hence why, if you're broiling them in the oven, it is advised that you actually toast the exterior of the English muffin first. This way the interior will begin to warm before you flip it over, and not get too crispy. Even if you do overdo it on the toasting, there is a good chance that the center will still be a little spongy.

So, seeing his preference for crispy, grease-riddled toast, it makes sense why Bourdain would consider the English muffins to be too soggy. But the English muffin, by its very nature, was never intended to be overly crispy. For some, a soft-centered English muffin would be perfectly toasted. But for Bourdain, it just wasn't enough.