The Toastabag: A Great British Invention

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I get impressed with simple but good inventions and I’ve always thought that the egg timer was a great invention, simple but ever so useful. Egg timers have been around for many years but if the idea was invented in this day and age the inventor would make a fortune.

One of my favourite inventions has to be the ring pull for cans. It appeared in the late 90s and the can opener is now practically redundant in my house. No more cut fingers or having to rush out to buy a new can opener when you can’t find your old one or it breaks. Sometimes the ring pulls are a bit tough to use but apart from that I think that they are great.

Last week I bought a new product that I first saw several years ago on the TV programme Dragons Den – one of my big favourites. The show where inventors and new business start ups are placed in front of a panel of 5 multi-millionaires. They ask for a specified amount of investment for a percentage of their company. After a grilling the contestants are either offered or not offered the investment that they want.

Anyway a couple entered the Dragons Den asking for a £200,000 investment in their kitchenware range. One of their products was the Toastabag which they claimed you could use to make toasted sandwiches in your toaster. Multi millionaire James Cain was impressed enough to offer the £200,000 investment for 40% equity in the company. However, the deal later fell through and the couple got the investment from their bank.

I was a bit dubious about the Toastabag product, but when I saw them in a shop I decided to give them a try out. On the way home I read the instructions and saw that they were meant to be used with variable width slot type toasters, or sandwiches would need to be flattened or squashed for normal slot sized toasters.

‘Darnit’ I thought ‘no toasted sandwiches for me’ I was quite disappointed because my oven grill stopped working shortly after the year long guarantee expired and I love cheese on toast.

I was wrong, when I got home I saw that my toaster slots were quite large so my toasted sandwiches were back on. I was a bit worried that the bags would melt with the concentrated heat of my toaster, but reckoned that they wouldn’t be on sale for that purpose if that could happen.

I placed my sliced cheese between 2 slices of bread and as an afterthought added a sliced tomato. Placed the sandwich in the Toastabag and popped it into my toaster. I had increased the toaster cooking time beforehand.

About 3 minutes later I took the bag out of the toaster – ouch! It gets really hot so be careful. As soon as my toastie was cool enough to eat I tried a small biteful quite gingerly. Wow it was nice, just as tasty as cheese and tomato on toast done under my cooker grill when it worked but only a little bag to clean afterwards.

It says on the cover that you can use Toastabags to make a variety of toasties and heat up things like pastry, pizza, chips and chicken nuggets. I heated up a steak slice using one, that was quick and easy. I also made my favourite toasted sandwich – ham, cheese, tomato and onion – that was good.

Each bag is supposed to be usable up to 50 times. I don’t know about that claim so far but they are cheap and do the job that they are supposed to. Another great British invention I think, certainly a tasty one!

Click here to find a selection of toastabags

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