Food - Drink
The Fascinating History Of Spanish Torrijas
By LAUREN ROTHMAN
French toast is popular in countries around the world, so perhaps it's not surprising that this dish isn't given the "French" moniker in many nations. In Spain, French toast is known as torrijas, but rather than a simple name change for a classic French dish, torrijas are unique on their own and have differences from classic French toast.
Torrijas go back to ancient Roman times, and during the Middle Ages, became a traditional Lent food for Catholics to enjoy while abstaining from meat. One difference between torrijas and French toast is that torrijas are fried in olive oil and may be soaked in wine, with the bread and wine representing the blood and body of Christ.
This dessert was popularized by 15th-century nuns as a satisfying option for the poor, and was also a source of nourishment for pregnant women and new mothers because of its calorie-rich composition. While torrijas still consist of bread soaked in custard and pan-fried, it has a richer history than just being an offshoot of French toast.