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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Don't Roll Your Eyes Too Hard At This Story About Artisanal Toast

Posted by on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 12:12 PM

I almost slammed my computer shut after reading the sentence "I felt compelled to go looking for the origins of the fancy toast trend," but there's a really intense story about mental illness and community at the hipstery center of this Pacific Standard story about toast pioneer Giulietta Carrelli:

Carrelli tends toward the vivid, manic end of the mood spectrum, she says, but the onset of a psychotic episode can shut her down with little warning for hours, days, or, in the worst instances, months. Even on good days, she struggles to maintain a sense of self; for years her main means of achieving this was to write furiously in notebooks, trying to get the essentials down on paper. When an episode comes on, she describes the experience as a kind of death: Sometimes she gets stuck hallucinating, hearing voices, unable to move or see clearly; other times she has wandered the city aimlessly. “Sometimes I don’t recognize myself,” she says. “I get so much disorganized brain activity, I would get lost for 12 hours.”

Seattle has it's own issues when it comes to figuring out what to do about people who need mental health services, and I wonder how the type of community-based compassion Carrelli cultivates would change our conversation.


Comments (7) RSS

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TomJohnsonJr 1
Oh, that was magnificent. Her finding nourishment through weak ties with others rather than strong, it's just a fantastic opportunity the city offers.

And yes, now I want toast. Three Girls' country french with a fancy Euro-butter, please.
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on January 15, 2014 at 12:28 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 2
Artisanal Toast... I think that's actually one of the first things I got on Brooklyn Brooklyn Company Company.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 15, 2014 at 12:41 PM · Report this
Fnarf 3
Artisanal toast is a joke (and good toast is thin, not thick), but this story is wonderful. It could never happen in Seattle, of course, because here she would be whisked away into Western State Hospital the instant she showed odd behavior, and inspectors would be in her shop after just a few days saying that people are complaining that people are enjoying themselves (Not Allowed), and that coconuts are not on their approved list of beverage containers.

Does anyone else remember Joey Kline's Toast Bar in the U District thirty years ago? Ahead of his time, that man.
Posted by Fnarf on January 15, 2014 at 1:09 PM · Report this
@3: What about French Toast?
Posted by Hanoumatoi on January 15, 2014 at 2:18 PM · Report this
Fnarf 5
@4, I assume you mean in relation to the thick/thin question? OK, thick French Toast is OK. I'm not really a French Toast fan, since I don't really like syrup, which is the whole point of FT -- not the toast (which isn't actually toast at all).

Toast has to be thin because otherwise it won't toast all the way through, and the middle is just warm squishy bread. Nothing wrong with warm bread, but if you're having toast you really want TOAST, not bread. So you have to start with thin white bread and toast it slowly and put it into a rack afterwards -- if you stack it on a plate it goes soggy immediately.

The genius food writer John Thorne understands what I'm talking about.
Posted by Fnarf on January 15, 2014 at 2:57 PM · Report this
@4: My wife can't stand maple syrup. I can't stand the fake crap (side effect of growing up in maple syrup country). She actually got me a flask so I can carry around real maple syrup, since nobody has that around here.

I actually prefer the outer crunch with the inner squish, but I like the squish to be because it is soaked with butter or jam. I generally agree with you on thinner slices, but thick french toast I have found quite delightful, thus I wished to have clarity.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on January 15, 2014 at 3:18 PM · Report this
Jubilation T. Cornball 7
I thought Dinette had a toast menu some time ago...
Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball on March 20, 2014 at 11:06 AM · Report this

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