March 23: National Melba Toast Day
While recuperating from her surgeries, Islander feasted on ice chips, Jell-O, chicken broth and weak tea before graduating to solid foods, such as crackers and toast. She especially likes the latter when it is made into Melba Toast and the triangle edges of the bread curl up under the broiler. Similar to Zweiback, Melba Toast is fed to teething babies and patients with a belly ache.
Like the dessert, Peach Melba, the toast is named after famed Victorian era opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba, who reportedly ate this type of toast when she was ill.
Once known as a food for maintaining a mild diet, Melba Toast is now mass-manufactured and marketed as a base for hors d’oeuvres for elegant entertaining. Make Melba Toast to soothe a sick stomach, to serve as sophisticated appetizers at social gatherings and to observe National Melba Toast Day.
(Adapted from The Great British Cookbook)
- 2 slices of white bread
Slice off the crusts of the bread. Lightly brown in a toaster. Remove and slice between the toasted sides to make a thinner piece of bread. Cut into triangles. Place on a baking sheet, untoasted side up.
Bake on the top rack of a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for five minutes, being careful not to burn the bread. Remove from the oven and serve.
- For more Melba food, see the recipe for Peach Melba which we posted on National Peach Melba Day on January 13.