Saudi Arabia and the Definition of Toast

According to the definition of toast is “sliced bread that has been browned by heat.”   Okay, that’s what I thought too….sliced bread, whether it be white or whole wheat that has been browned so it is somewhat crunchy and hot melted butter spread across the top.  Maybe sometimes even a little jam or honey atop the browned bread and one has a wholesome and filling snack.


Now in Saudi Arabia and at least among the Saudis whom I know toast has a slightly different definition.  It still means bread but is in fact simply sliced bread that has not been browned.  Many times I have been in the grocery store with my husband and he will remind me we need toast.  This is his way of saying we are out of (loaf) bread.  In Saudi Arabia, more often than not, when one makes reference to bread it implies the traditional flat arabic bread is what one is referring to rather than a loaf of sliced bread.


Beware if you are at a hotel or restaurant and ask for toast.  Chances are you will be given a plate with sliced bread but without being warmed or with butter.  You do need to remember and say you want browned toast and butter for a traditional Western style definition of toast!


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