A Brief But Delicious History Of The French Toast Alert System
If you’re from Boston or like to visit the city during the coldest time of year, chances are you’ve heard of the French Toast Alert System.
Or, now you’re scratching your head wondering what it could be.
“French toast storms have been kind of a joke here for a long time,” said Universal hub founder Adam Gaffin. “Because when a storm comes, people rush to the store to buy bread, milk and eggs – the key ingredients for French toast.”
The French Toast warning system ranks the severity of storms on a scale of one band (lowest risk) to five bands (severe risk). It uses data from local weather emergency officials who track storms to let people know when to rush to the shelves for these essential ingredients.
Ranking began around 2007. Gaffin said he joked with people about the alert system on a forum he ran.
“I mean, what else are you going to do when Snowmageddon approaches?” said Gaffin. “I decided to try to quantify how much people should panic before a storm. This was during the days of Homeland Security and its color-coded terror ratings, so I adapted this to local use.
Since then, Gaffin said the system has garnered a lot of local attention, and when a storm hits, people in Boston — or what he calls “the Great French Toast region” — turn to his website. for its classification.
“Before the storms now people would send me pictures of empty supermarket shelves. Then, during and after [a storm]they send me pictures of their French toast,” Gaffin said.
Gaffin said a local enthusiast set up Facebook and Twitter accounts so that the Alert System rankings could be easily posted. Whenever the weather forecast turns severe, like this weekend’s storm, Gaffin said he always sees a surge of interest on social media.
“My favorite tweet from yesterday, however, was: ‘I just moved here and can’t say how much of a joke this is supposed to be, but I went out to get some French toast stuff just in case“said Gaffin.
The approaching blizzard has created even more buzz around the French Toast warning system. The forecast for Boston, which is expected to receive up to 2 feet of snow, caused the system to push the storm to its most severe level: a five-slice storm. The last classification in five tranches took place on March 1, 2018.
“Yesterday [Jan. 27]while the alert was still at four tranches, Harvey Leonard released his first card over 2 feet, and pretty much immediately people started asking me when I was going to five,” Gaffin said.
Harvey Leonard is a meteorologist for WCVB-TV. Gaffin called him “the dean of local meteorologists”.
“He’s famous for starting his career correctly calling the 1978 blizzard, so it seemed logical to have him incorporated somehow,” he said.
As Boston prepares for its first major storm of the year, Gaffin has some words of wisdom.
“Even if a forecast turns out to be a collapse – and the forecast for this storm was, well, all over the map until yesterday – don’t worry: French toast is good all the time,” Gaffin said. . “Also, clean your vent before you start your dryer and your exhaust before you start your car.”