Toast Points: How Bread Got So Hot in SF
It's 11:30 AM on a Sunday, and the line for toast and coffee at The Mill is out the door. Inside, the scene is just shy of chaotic.
"It's too loud in there!" a small, agitated child yells at his mother. She tells him she needs to get toast for his father and impatiently plants him at the front door. He's alone, save for some sad-looking dogs tethered to parking meters.
"Wait here!" she orders.
It's official: Toast is a San Francisco phenomenon causing mothers to leave their seriously young children to fend for themselves while they procure a square of dark mountain rye with cream cheese or whole wheat with pumpkin butter and sea salt. The Mill is the current epicenter of it all - the only place in town where one can buy underpants emblazoned with the name of the bread maker, Josey Baker.
An August article on Venturebeat entitled "$4 toast: Why the tech industry is ruining San Francisco" quickly turned this food item into a target for sarcasm. But behind the punchline is a transformed trend that has actually existed in the city for decades. From honey bread with condensed milk to country levain with bone-marrow butter, click through to see how it started and where it's going.