Crumpets are my favorite food. In the whole world. Hands down. It’s no secret that I love food and there are countless edible things in the world that bring me to obscene states of joy, but I can say without a hint of doubt that crumpets are my favorite.
Why? You might ask. And before that, you might even be wondering what exactly a crumpet is.
What is a crumpet?
Firstly, let me tell you that although a crumpet is a thing of simple joy, it cannot be described simply, nor can it be simply described. They are things of true magnificence and beauty. You must try one firsthand to get it. But I will attempt, in vain, to describe it to you.
Usually I like to start off by having the crumpet virgin imagine an english muffin–a crumpet looks quite similar in shape, size and color. But that’s where the likeness ends. Though english muffins are wonderful entities in their own right, scientifically speaking, they haven’t got shit on crumpets.
Crumpets, unlike english muffins, do not get cut in half. On the top half, you have a series of holes covering the surface about 1mm in diameter and running almost all the way down to the bottom. In its natural, un-toasted state, a crumpet is like a thick sponge. Which sounds gross, and probably is, but chill out.. we haven’t gotten to the good part.
Here’s Wikipedia’s puny attempt at explaining the glory:
“A crumpet /ˈkrʌmpɨt/ is a savoury griddle cake made from flour and yeast. It is eaten mainly in the United Kingdom and other nations of the Commonwealth. Crumpets are somewhat similar in appearance, though not in flavour, to North American pancakes, where both have pores caused by expanding air bubbles.”
The art of toasting a crumpet.
A crumpet must be treated with respect. He or she will know what a prize you hold in your hands, and will demand to be handled delicately and with consideration.
1. First, insert your crumpet gently into the toaster, careful not to break, squish, or damage your food-jewel.
2. Next, check the heat settings to ensure your crumpet’s safety. Now turn that shit to the highest possible setting because your crumpet is a big, thick, squishy monster which needs to be taught who’s boss.
3. Remove crumpet from toaster. Observe that, even after a full intensity toasting, your crumpet is not yet ready to harvest. Is the upper surface crusty? Is your crumpet steaming? Is the bottom golden brown? No, I didn’t think so.
4. Re-insert your crumpet into the toaster to ensure that your upper surface is crusty. Remain alert: if you don’t watch carefully, the edges will burn. This is the crucial moment. This is where you and your crumpet either make it or break it. BE VIGILANT!
5. Remove crumpet. Observe and quality check to ensure that your crumpet is finally toasted to perfection.
6. Allow crumpet to cool for 30-60 seconds to allow hardening of upper crust.
Now, you’re ready for the spread.
Topping a crumpet
Topping choice is an extremely important decision in the life of your crumpet eating experience. What you choose says a lot about your inherent value as a person (or what mood you’re in). A topping is a vital component to your breakfast of champions–even considering eating a dry crumpet gets you a life sentence in jail.
The beauty of the topping-crumpet duo is the way they seep into the holes: filling the inner squishy bit with flavor and things that clog your arteries, providing the perfect balance to the crispy upper and lower exteriors. The toppings burst out of the crevices with each bite, filling your mouth with pure bliss.
Following are my list of top toppings.
Butter: A wonderful solo topping, but also an absolutely necessary base layer to accompany any other topping. Don’t mess with margarine, low-fat, canola oil, or any of that sissy stuff. Slather it up and slather it on. Your crumpet will thank you.
Jam: For a sweet treat and cool, refreshing accompaniment of a steamy crumpet. I prefer strawberry with bits.
Cheese: Watch in amazement as it seeps into the crevices, filling them with gooey warm goodness. Die and go to heaven.
Honey: All-time favorite crumpet topping. Sweet gooey honey with salty butter, oozing out the bottom and sides.
Good options also include chocolate, smooth peanut butter, nutella, fruit, fried egg, chilli, cream cheese, vegemite.
Deluxe crumpeteering options also exist, such as:
Snickers Crumpet: Alternate 1 layer chocolate/nutella with 1 layer smooth peanut butter. Repeat 4 times.
French Crumpet: Dip crumpet in french toast batter and fry.
Savoring and enjoying a crumpet
Eating and enjoying the perfect crumpet is as individual and personal an experience as a first kiss. You’ll remember it, always. Don’t forget to pair it with a nice hot cup of english tea and enjoy!