Food - Drink
What Makes Spanish Torrijas Different From French Toast?
By ALI FAGAN
While Spanish torrijas and French toast seem similar in many ways, they also have differences other than their names and countries of origin. Both of these sweet dishes involve dunking bread into an egg-based mixture and pan-frying it, but the ingredients and techniques used make each of these treats distinct.
French toast is best when fried in butter, but for Spanish torrijas, the cooking fat must be olive oil. Spain is the number-one producer of olive oil in the world, so it seems fitting that Spaniards fry up sweetened, custard-soaked stale bread in this famous oil, and the bread in question can also be different from bread used for French toast.
Torrijas are often made with baguettes, rather than square bread loaves or brioche used in French toast. While French toast is usually neutral-tasting base for sweet toppings, torrijas can be flavored by adding ingredients to the egg mixture such as wine, as they do in the region of Seville, or by coating the bread in cinnamon sugar.