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Toast is sliced bread that has been browned by exposure to radiant heat. This browning is the result of a Maillard reaction altering the flavor of the bread and making it firmer so that it is easier to spread toppings on it. Toasting is a common method of making stale bread more palatable. Bread is often toasted using a toaster, but toaster ovens are also used. Though many types of bread can be toasted the most commonly used is “toast bread”, referring to bread that is already sliced and bagged upon purchase and may be white, brown, or multigrain.

Bread can also be toasted under a grill (or broiler), in an open oven, or lying on an oven rack. This “oven toast” is usually buttered before toasting. Toaster ovens are special small appliances made for toasting bread or for heating small amounts of other foods.

Bread can also be toasted by holding it near but not directly over an open flame, such as a campfire or fireplace; special toasting utensils (e.g. toasting forks) are made for this purpose. Before the invention of modern cooking appliances such as toasters and grills, bread has been produced in ovens for millennia, toast can be made in the same oven.

Many brands of ready sliced bread are available, some specifically marketing their suitability for toasting.

The slang idiom “you’re toast”, “I’m toast” or “we’re toast” is used to express a state of being “outcast”, “finished”, “burned, scorched, wiped out, [or] demolished” (without even the consolation of being remembered, as with the slang term “you’re history”).”[3] The first known use of “toast” as a metaphorical term for “you’re dead” was in the 1984 film Ghostbusters, in which Bill Murray’s character declares “This chick is toast” before the Ghostbusters attempt to burn the villain with their nuclear-powered weapons.[4] “Hey, dude. You’re toast, man”, which appeared in The St. Petersburg Times of Oct. 1, 1987, is the “…earliest [printed] citation the Oxford English Dictionary research staff has of this usage.”[3]

Another popular idiom associated with the word “toast” is the expression “to toast someone’s health”, which is typically done by one or more persons at a gathering by raising a glass in salute to the individual. This meaning is derived from the early meaning of toast, which from the 1400s to the 1600s meant warmed bread that was placed in a drink. By the 1700s, there were references to the drink in which toast was dunked being used in a gesture that indicates respect: “Ay, Madam, it has been your Life’s whole Pride of late to be the Common Toast of every Public Table.”[4][better source needed]

Humorous observations have been made about buttered toast. It has been noted that buttered toast has a perceived tendency, when dropped, to land with the buttered side to the floor, the least desirable outcome. Although the concept of “dropped buttered toast” was originally a pessimistic joke, a 2001 study of the buttered toast phenomenon found that when dropped from a table, a buttered slice of toast landed butter-side down at least 62% of the time.[12] The phenomenon is widely believed to be attributable to the combination of the size of the toast and the height of the typical dining table, which means that the toast will not rotate far enough to right itself before encountering the floor.[13][14] A joke that plays on this tendency is the buttered cat paradox; if cats always land on their feet and buttered toast always lands buttered side down, it questions what happens when buttered toast is attached to a cat’s back.

Historically, brown meal was what remained after about 90% of the coarse, outer bran and 74% of pure endosperm or fine flour was removed from the whole grain.[5] Using slightly different extraction numbers, brown meal, representing 20% of the whole grain, was itself composed of about 15% fine bran and 85% white flour.[6] In 1848 it was asserted grain millers knew only of bran and endosperm,[7] but by 1912 it was more widely known that brown meal included the germ