In Defense of Toast
by Dan Walsh
There is a fancy coffee shop near my house that serves toast for $4.
The toast is amazing. The bread is artisinal and fresh baked on the premises, the toppings and spreads are high end, and the service is friendly. Options in the past have included: cracked black pepper and parmesean with butter and sea salt; sunflower seed with cinnamon and sugar; country wheat with fresh ground almond butter and local honey; and [some other bread] with fresh-made seasonal jelly or jam. This toast is worth every penny.
Unfortunately, there is a contingent in San Francisco who are offended that anyone would willingly pay $4 for a piece of toast. They see this price point as an abomination and harbinger of tech-elite gentrification which will price everyone who doesn’t own Twitter stock out of the city. They are actually trying to get the mayor to intervene.
“If they’ll pay $4 for toast, what’s next? $4 for coffee?!”
I am perfectly fine with paying $4 for toast this good. It is delicious, more substantial than a croissant, a perfect accompaniment to my $4 pour-over coffee, and I commend the mad marketing genius who had the vision to reinvent the lowly toast. He dreamt of a world where toast was glorified and asked himself, “why not?”.
And why shouldn’t he get paid $4 for a slice of heaven? The labor and raw goods must be costly. They have good staff and only use high end ingredients. Besides, this is after all a free-market society. If his $4 toast is so wrong, then why isn’t he out of business? If the market can sustain it, and it has, then kudos to him for reinventing his corner of the world.
I don’t know who this offended contingent is. I can’t recognize them on the street, but they are definitely out to ruin capitalism and the American way. It’s a bit of a red scare and Hoover is long gone. I’m sort of kidding. The contingent that balks at this price is either heavily socialist, has never indulged in this toast and so are arguing out of ignorance, or most likely just don’t realize that this isn’t crappy Wonderbread with shitty Jiffy peanut butter smeared on top.
Yes, it’s called toast, but only for lack of a better name. It’s not really toast anymore, now is it? So I have a simple solution that should make everyone happen and doesn’t involve the intervention of City Hall. I propose we rename this new toast. Taking a queue from P.T. Barnum, it should be something exotic to get people excited and make it easy to justify the price. The French already have a good reputation for baked goods, so why not Pain de Soliel.