Milantoast. An Italian success story


It all started with an espresso machine. In 1948, the Milantoast company, then still known as Egi, was launched. Its founders, Andrea Ivo Novi and the company's namesake Mario Egi, had both previously worked in the coffee machine industry - and what could be more natural than to get involved in the development and production of espresso machines? Milan was the perfect location, as the big names in the industry (and all of their suppliers) were already present in the metropolis in the north of Italy.

Innovative. A company in the change of time

It was not until 1962 that Egi changed its name and from then on used the brand name Milantoast, which is still familiar today. A change that was to mark a milestone in the company's history. And it came about like this: Like (almost) everywhere else in Europe and the world, the previous decade brought a period of upheaval and innovation in Italy. With the boom of the post-war years - the "miracolo economico italiano," as the Italian economic miracle is generally referred to - and the accompanying modernization of production, not least the pace of work intensified. What happened as a result is something you probably still know from your own experience. On workdays, people no longer took the time for an extended lunch break, but just had a quick bite to eat, maybe ordered an espresso at the coffee bar around the corner, and returned to their workplaces. This opened the door to a new culinary tradition: the Italian answer to currywurst, French fries and the like. At that time, the ham and cheese toast became popular. In the bar, guests increasingly asked for "pancarrè." Pan as in il pane, the bread, and carrè as in quadrangle: the square bread. Two slices of white bread were hidden behind this term, not exactly sparingly topped with ham and cheese and - this was the decisive factor - toasted in the (Milan) toaster before eating, so that the bread became nice and crispy and the cheese could melt.

We offer the contact grill in two variants. You have a choice: in one model, both grill plates have a grooved surface. This variant is especially recommended for the preparation of panini, the classic grilled sandwiches from Italy, and the cooking of delicate grilled food (fish, shrimp, white meat). Also try grilled cheese, vegetables (such as green asparagus) or sweets (banana in its skin, pineapple slices) from this device.

339,00 €

Specialist for catering equipment. From sandwich toaster to contact grill

It was to be several years before the first "Paninoteca" opened in Milan. But for the second time in the history of Milantoast, the capital of Lombardy proved to be the ideal location, because the new times were becoming noticeable, especially in the industrialized regions of northern Italy - and the accompanying change in lifestyle demanded something that Milantoast could supply in reliable quality: new equipment. There was a growing need for toasters that could handle many slices of bread and were suitable for continuous use in the coffee bars of towns and villages. Messrs. Egi and Novi soon recognized this trend and built the first toaster with sandwich tongs in their factory in 1958. Originally intended as a purely catering appliance, the 007001 model soon conquered Italian households as well - and it is still impossible to imagine life without it. It is therefore hardly surprising that this same sandwich toaster can still be found in the Milantoast range in 2021 in an almost unchanged form. A classic two-slot toaster (without sandwich tongs), as preferred in Germany, is now also produced: a concession to toasting habits in Germany, as they say in Milan with a wink. In Italy itself, the second model is hardly in demand. The electric contact grill developed in the 1960s expanded the preparation possibilities. From pancarrè came panini, the richly toasted rolls, and toasted foccacia, piadine (flatbreads), grilled bistecca or vegetables ... The country's coffee bars continued to report growing demand and expanded their menus. And once again Milantoast proved to be a pioneer. In those years they developed and built the first Italian-style contact grill as we know it today: with cast-iron grill plates in a stainless steel casing and variable temperature settings. Milantoast grills can still be found in all Milanese restaurants - and in Manufactum's kitchen range. Just like the infrared grill that can be used as a salamander, which is also a Milantoast invention of the time. Then as now, the focus was on two things above all: quality - and craftsmanship. All the components used in Milantoast toasters and contact grills come from suppliers in Italy. The assembly of the appliances is largely done manually, and all production and assembly steps remain under one roof. Five employees work in production. Great importance is also attached to quality control: No appliance leaves the factory in Sulbiate in the greater Milan area without being thoroughly examined and put through its paces.