Toast is the truly extraordinary story of a childhood remembered through food. In each chapter, as Nigel Slater takes us on a tour of the contents of his family's pantryâ€”rice pudding, tinned ham, cream soda, mince pies, lemon drops, bourbon biscuitsâ€”we are transportedâ€¦
His mother is a chops-and-peas sort of cook, exasperated by the highs and lows of a temperamental stove, a finicky little son, and the asthma that would prove fatal. His father is a honey-and-crumpets man with an unpredictable temper. When he is widowed, Nigel's father takes on a housekeeper with social aspirations and a talent in the kitchen and the following years become a heartbreaking cooking contest for his affections. As he slowly loses, Nigel finds a new outlet for his culinary gifts and we witness the birth of a lifelong passion for food. Nigel's likes and dislikes, aversions and sweet-toothed weaknesses, form a fascinating backdrop to this exceptionally moving memoir of childhood, adolescence, and sexual awakening.
With a new preface and glossary for American readers, this British bestseller and national award winner is sure to delight foodies and memoir enthusiasts on this side of the pond. Possessed of the subtlety and wit of Ruth Reichl's Tender at the Bone and the disarming frankness of Anthony Bourdain's page-turning Kitchen Confidential, Toast is a treat to be savored.