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(article, Liz Crain)
Nigel Slater, food writer for the Observer, had been writing bestselling cookbooks and popular food stories for years before he took a turn into memoir. Toast is the deeply personal and engaging result, chronicling Slater’s lonely and in many ways food-obsessed childhood in suburban England as well as his young-adult journey into colorful and bawdy professional kitchens. Alongside the foods of his childhood, Toast serves up the burgeoning sexuality of Slater’s youth; this may be the first nostalgic British food book with more entertaining allusions to banging than to bangers. A treat for those who like to read books cover to cover is the little glossary of British food terms at the back, including Ribena, Fairy Cakes, Fish Fingers, and Maltesers. And the title? Toast was the staple food that Slater’s good-hearted but distant mother, who died when he was nine, never made without burning. p(bio). Liz Crain is a writer based in Portland, Oregon.