The story of the toast

Introduction

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Source: Podere La Marronaia

We are almost approaching New Year’s Eve, so I would like to narrate you a little bit why, especially during this festivity, everybody like to toast together.

So here we go… enjoy the story of the toast!!

The toast is a ritual mainly connected to the wine; we like to think that a man tasting it pleased of the result that obtained, raised the glass to thank God for the result.

the toast is  the gesture of raise a glass full of any beverage (generally an alcoholic one) and drink in honor of someone or something. The act include also to let the glasses of all the tablemates touch lightly.

It’s diffused all along the world, obviously the exclamations used during it change.

In Italy we use the word “Cin, Cin” that has Chinese origins: in fact descends from “qǐng qǐng, 请请” that means “please, please” and the usage of it was encouraged by the onomatopoeic similarity of the sound produced by two glasses that hit together. “Cin, Cin” was used between Canton sailors like a joking greeting form, and was exported inside Europeans harbors.

The Toast in the history

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Source: Wikimedia

The toast is lost in the mists of the time.

Assyrian – Babylonian princes with their wives sit on their thrones, used to raise glasses full of wine to thank their Gods.

Also Pharaohs with their brides were used to drink and toast with wine to thank Gods.

Greeks defined the practice of the toast “propìnein”. The ritual was very detailed; when slaves, at the end of the lunch, finished to clean up, Greeks start to drink. Whose didn’t want to toast had to leave the banquet: the exclamation used during this part of the ritual was “Drink or go” that in Greek sounds like “pìthi and àpithi”.  The first glass was a mix of water and wine and usually in honor of Dionysus, but greeks didn’t drink the entire glass, just a part of it, the rest was poured on the floor. So, we can say that during the symposium what was consumed was both a toast as well as religious libation.

Instead during the Roman Era the toast acquires the modern meaning. They started to toast in honor also of common people or well-known personalities.

Why in English we say “To raise a Toast”?

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Source: Podere La Marronaia

As we know the world toast means generally a piece of toasted bread, this does not have a lot in common with the act of raise a glass full of an alcoholic beverage and “toast” in honor of someone or something .

The world “toast” originate from the Latin word “tostus”, which means “scorch” or “burn”, this make sense for toasted bread, but not for the gesture of raise a glass.

Anyway there is an explanation. In the past the wine could contain unsavory bitter sediments, that gave the wine a bad taste. This way people started to stick a piece of bread or toast at the bottom of the glass helping to soak up the residue, acting as a sort of filter to ensure you didn’t get a mouthful of bitter granules.

Here you have why we say Toast in both cases. At first this two thing seems so different, but at the end they are extremely connected.

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Source: Podere La Marronaia

Speaking of Toast, New Year’s Eve is coming…. All the world will start to toast for a lucky, prosperous and a wonderful year… also here at Podere La Marronaia we’re going to raise a glass full of our Piuma della Marronaia, our new sparkling wine to toast in honor of it!!!!!!