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Toast is a form of bread that has been browned by toasting, that is, exposure to radiant heat. The browning is the result of a Maillard reaction, altering the flavor of the bread and making it firmer so that it is easier to spread toppings on it. Toasting is a common method of making stale bread more palatable. Bread is often toasted using a toaster, but toaster ovens are also used. Pre-sliced bread is most common.
Toast is commonly eaten with butter or margarine, and sweet toppings, such as jam or jelly. Regionally, savory spreads, such as peanut butter or a yeast extract, may also be popular. Buttered toast may also accompany savory dishes, especially soups or stews, and be topped with heartier ingredients like eggs or baked beans as a light meal. Toast is a common breakfast food. Bagels and English muffins are also toasted.
Toast may contain carcinogens (acrylamide) caused by the browning process.