As BuzzFeed humorously declares: Apparently toast is the next big food trend.
It's not just any toast, we're talking tartines. These French open-faced sandwiches are suddenly everywhere.
In Forbes Jason Kessler called 2014 the Year of the Toast, noting that "Toast sits perfectly at the intersection of comfort food and artisanal fetishism." Although shops such as Tartine Bakery in San Francisco have been putting stuff on toast for years (that’s the essence of a tartine), the trend really spread nationwide this year.
David Bernahl calls it "a modern, hipster version of bruschetta." It’s a great way to show off the taste of top-rate ingredients – savory or sweet - with only minimal accompaniments.
Healthy Aperture bloggers have created many tantalizing tartines, including the images above:
In Chicago, several new Le Pain Quotidien cafes have popped up, where I've enjoyed Toasted Avocado Tartine -- mashed avocado on a hearty whole-grain bread topped with citrus cumin salt (sea salt, lemon zest, cumin and red pepper). You'll find several tartines on the menu at these fabulous cafes, and they're even featured on the cover of the Le Pain Quotidien Cookbook. Here's some inspiration from Healthy Aperture bloggers to make your own avocado tartines at home:
Avocado and Thyme Pesto Tartines by A Pinch of Thyme
Avocado and Ricotta Tartine with Preserved Lemon by Avocado a Day Nutrition.
Jelly Toast features several tartines on her blog, including these gorgeous Summer Squash Tartines below, and she loves how they conjour up images of Paris:
"There is something I find thrilling about creating a meal in my kitchen that is chic and lovely -- like 'tartine.' The word tartine is full of delicate sophistication and brings to mind airy cafes in Paris, complete with lovely company and, of course, a delightful coffee."
Healthy Recipe Ecstasy is equally enamored with tartines, as she writes on a blog post for Prosciutto and Mustard Tartines:
"Somebody call TA (Tartines Anonymous – because that obviously exists somewhere). I am obsessed with tartines. I don’t know when it happened. Maybe it was after these creamy salty leek tartines. Or maybe it was the goat cheese and fig. Or these babies that I’m currently cruising. We’ll never know, but I just can’t seem to stop dreaming, making, eating, craving tartines. I can’t help it. They’re so gosh darn adorable. They remind me of the pintxos we ate during our honeymoon in Spain. And the toppings – I mean, the possibilities are just endless. ENDLESS I TELL YOU. Sorry, got overexcited."
At breakfast, for a snack or at dinner, it's always a good time for a tartine.