I saw this article linked to from a couple sites last week. Both pointed out that, on its surface, it seemed like a silly story about a silly fad. Apparently artisanal toast – at $3, or more, a slice – is the new big thing in San Francisco and beginning to spread to other major cities. But both sites said the story went deeper than over-priced toast and was worth diving into.

I agree.

It’s a remarkable story about much more that the whims of culinary trends. It’s also about creating real interaction in a hyperactive, digitally-inclined society. It’s about finding meaning in relationships with others. And it’s about a woman’s remarkable fight against crippling mental health issues.

In a city whose economy is increasingly built on digital social networks—but where simple eye contact is at a premium—Giulietta Carrelli’s latticework of small connections is old-fashioned and analog. It is built not for self-presentation, but for self-preservation. And the spread of toast is only one of the things that has arisen from it.

A Toast Story