Icons of England
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887 of 1170 nominations



Is this an icon?



We have received nominations for cheese on toast and beans on toast, but before you cover it with any of your fancy toppings, there is just toast pure and simple. The original comfort food, hot buttered toast is arguably even more of a Band-Aid for the emotionally fragile than chocolate is. Toast with marmalade or jam is at the heart of the breakfast ritual. Even if you haven’t the wherewithal to boil an egg in the mornings, you can always pop a couple of slices of bread in the toaster or under the grill. It makes a useful lunchtime vehicle for something out of a tin, or to accompany a bowl of soup, and also has a habit of popping up mid-evening too, when we feel we need a break from the horrors of the main TV news bulletin. As our nominator suggests, it isn’t always easy to get your hands on a decent bit of toast when abroad, where warm croissants or American muffins are so often the order of the day. We’d like to say that a novelty hit called “Toast” by one-hit wonders the Street Band in 1978 was the definitive statement on toast, were we not all still trying to forget it.

Photo: Maria Gibbs


Your comments

When is the last time when you went abroad and wanted some toast for breakfast and was able to order it? It's a quintessentially English food type and remains part of our staple and traditional diet serving as both a platform accompaniment to other food types (i.e. beans, eggs, cheese etc.) and a meal in its own right. Fantastic!


Toast is delicious. Toast is good. Toast is quite excellent with cheese wiz, especially at 3 in the morning.

Toast is English
Mrs H Bell

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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye