Does the way a nation serves its eggs give us a rich insight into their culture? Maybe. Does the variety of egg dishes served around the world offer a serious selection of alternatives for your basic fried egg bap? Definitely. From the Argentine ‘matambre’ (‘hunger killer’) to the Italian ‘Deviled eggs’ (another thing the Romans gave us), eggs feature prominently in our diets all around the world, but local innovation means there’s always something new to discover.
In India, of course, eggs invariably seem to end up in a curry – making egg curry an achievable alternative for western fans of Asian cooking. If that sounds too exotic, you can always pull it back down to earth in a curried egg sandwich, although perhaps this isn’t one to wolf down on a busy commuter train.
A simpler, but more troubling Asian egg dish can be identified in the Filipino ‘balut’ – all you need is a duck egg, and salt. Do be sure to read the small print, though: the duck egg should be fertilized, which is to say it should contain an 18-day old fetus. No wonder the locals prefer to drink it with beer.
In Ghana, ‘Oto’ (boiled eggs on mashed yam) has a ceremonial purpose, whipped up to mark births, deaths and festivals, whereas in Mexico if you’re eating them you’ve already missed the ceremony – ‘Huevos Divorciados’ are so named for the divorce that’s occurred between the red and the green salsa, each of which top a separate egg tortilla either side of a wall of beans.
Theory has it, the classic American Eggs Benedict– poached egg, on a muffin with hollandaise sauce- was originally developed as a hangover cure in a New York hotel by Lemuel Benedict. Since then it’s developed into a household favorite.
So crack your eggs and start work your way through this appetizing new infographic, which promises to take us around the world on an egg.
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Keller, A. (2015). The Enduring Popularity of Deviled Eggs. pastemagazine.com
Bon Appetit (2001). Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches. epicurious.com
Calderon, J. (2014). Balut: The Filipino delicacy that makes the world squirm. cnn.com
Chapman Nyaho, E. (1970). 1970: Mrs. E. Chapman Nyaho. congocookbook.com
Green Healthy Cooking (2016). Huevos Divorciados. greenhealthycooking.com
Oliver, J. (2016). Proper Scotch eggs with lovely Scottish cheese and pickle. jamieoliver.com
Ramsay, G. (2016). Gordon’s eggs Benedict. bbcgoodfood.com