To me, “smell” can evoke powerful memories. Everyone remembers the smell of Crayola crayons. It is a powerful memory of youth as anything that exists.
The smell of toast is another one of those smells of youth. The toaster is the simple machine which not only toasts but also makes memories appear whenever you want them.
Toasters, like anything else, are all about compromises.
You can have:
- 2 or 4 slot models
- Regular or extra wide bread width (in case you want to toast bagels)
- Regular or long slots (in case you want to toast sourdough or Portuguese loaf bread)
- Metal or plastic (plastic is cheaper but does not seem to hold up as long as metal)
- Normal or robot models (which automatically lower the bread and raise the toast when done)
The custom features all seem to involve some sort of inefficiency for the benefit they offer. For example, the extra-wide models have the heating elements farther away from normal slices than would be the case with a regular toaster. The long-slice slot models will be wasting energy for space not actually being used to toast bread. You get the point.
Featured Toaster Brands
For me, the ideal toaster is a 4 slice metal toaster with a cleaning tray and made by a company that makes professional-grade cookware: All-Clad. New for 2012, the All-Clad 4 slot toaster as about as good as it gets. You can toast 2 or 4 slices at a time with different toast levels for each pair of slices. The toast settings range from something which just barely seems to heat the bread to a “charred beyond recognition” level for when I want peanut butter on toast with an extra crunch and a delightful charcoal aroma and tang. It is a little snug for bagels, but if I take a small slice out of the middle of the bagel, everything works just fine. It is not robotic, but neither am I. If you want to save space, an All-Clad 2-slot toaster is also available.
Krups also makes a line of great looking and functional toasters. The Krups Silver Art toaster is part of their Silver Art line of small appliances that have a similar look. More importantly, it features 8 settings for your preferred level of toasting and a high lift feature to handle small pieces of bread. The Krups Intuitive Digital Toaster has a digital configuration for precise toasting. It also has a defrost feature for those bagels you kept in the freezer. Krups toasters make an attractive addition to your kitchen.
Another ideal toaster is a metal toaster that is made by a company that makes professional-grade refrigerators and ranges. With a design harking back to the streamline era, the Viking toaster line comes 2-slot and 4-slot configurations and comes in bold red and black finishes.
Not only will these toasters look good on your countertop, but they’ll also make a delicious toast to perfection.