Why Geoffrey Zakarian Always Serves French Toast With Berries

A fluffy, sweet French toast is the ultimate decadent brunch. This rich, custardy bread dish is simple to make and is always a crowd-pleaser. Whether you spruce it up as a Nutella French toast or stick with a classic French toast recipe, you're guaranteed to have a sweet yet satisfying breakfast. Geoffrey Zakarian, co-host of The Kitchen, keeps his French toast simple. You won't find an excess of toppings or additions on it, just a side of berries.

"I only serve warm maple syrup and a bowl of sliced strawberries or whole blueberries on the side," Zakarian explained to Tasting Table. "The freshness is a nice balance for the richness of the French toast and maple syrup. Bon appétit!"

The custard base of French toast can be very filling. The berries' acidity cuts through this density and offers a different textural element. Berries have a nice, plump mouthfeel that contrasts with the bread's softness to create a satisfying combination. Serve some sausage or bacon alongside the meal for saltiness, and you have a near-perfect balance for your meal's flavor palate.

Other fresh toppings to try with French toast

Geoffrey Zakarian specifically references strawberries and blueberries when explaining his preferred French toast pairings, but you can use his fresh-fruit recommendation as a guideline for trying different accompaniments with the breakfast staple. If you enjoy the sweetness of French toast and you don't want to tone that aspect of the dish down, try adding banana slices to your meal. The banana will be less acidic compared to other berries, but it will still give you a hint of freshness that breaks up the monotony of the toast.

If you're enjoying a richer version of the dish, like Thai French toast, you might want to spring for a fruit that's brighter and more acidic in flavor. Citrus-like clementines or oranges are a great option for this, as they're acidic but also have some sweetness. These fruits' juicy tanginess makes the meal's thick bread base easier to handle. Another solid option is tropical fruits such as lychee or passion fruit.