“He that but looketh on a plate of ham and eggs to lust after it hath already committed breakfast with it in his heart.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Around the World in Eggy Days

I'm surprised how many breeds of chicken there are. Hundreds, says Wikipedia. 

Some of them bear the names of their countries of origin: the Australorp, the Belgian d'Everburg, the Brazilian Grey, the Croatian Dwarf Chicken, the Slavonian Dwarf Naked Neck Chicken. (Can that name be even more specific?!) You get the picture. I don't have to run down the alphabet, do I? Oh good, because my research didn't produce anything that starts with a Z. *whew*

So I thought... hmmm. Might be interesting to see how many egg dishes are named after places. See how my mind works? It's what happens when I really don't feel like going to the kitchen and yet I can't take my mind off food - eggs, in particular. 

Well there's Eggs Florentine. 

If you know Eggs Benedict (half an English muffin topped with bacon or ham, a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce) you'll know Eggs Florentine. The eggs take on another nationality when you substitute spinach for the ham. In fact, the word Florentine in the title of any recipe means the dish contains spinach. Ask Popeye. And if you substitute salmon for the ham, you have Eggs Montreal! Substitute corned beef hash, and you have Irish Benedict. (The eggs disappear, but just in the translation. They'll still be on your plate.

Well, while we're in that part of the world, let's do a little hop to Scotch Eggs.

You'll find a lot of recipes on the net for Scotch Eggs, but I found this one written in a particularly engaging manner.  http://www.crumblycookie.net/2008/04/03/scotch-eggs/
You can visit that blog, to get the details, but the broad picture is this: You coat a whole hardboiled egg in a sausage patty, then deep fry. If you're worried about all that fat from frying, you can bake them too. Less authentic, but healthier.

Let's not leave the continent without a short peek at a Tortilla Espanola. 

Si no hablas Espanol, say Spanish Omelet. It is also called Tortilla de Patata because, well, uh... it's got potatoes. Lots of it. More potatoes than eggs, in fact. Check it out here: http://spanishfood.about.com/od/tapas/ss/tortilla.htm

Now how different is a Spanish Omelet from an Indian Omelet? Well, they have two things in common: eggs and onions. That's about it. Here, read the ingredients:

See? Pepper, cumin, green chillies, red chilli powder. I'm thinking, you might not be able to say "Hand me that glass of water" fast enough. But look at it here, in all its innocent splendor.

Exotic, huh. Not  quite. You want exotic, I'll give you exotic. Cambodian Grilled Eggs.

I know what you're thinking. The hardboiled eggs were skewered, so what?!  Well, number one, the eggs aren't hardboiled. Instead the raw egg is blown out of its shell, whisked with sugar, fish sauce and pepper, and then poured back into the eggshell via a funnel, and steamed. Once cooked, they are skewered, and grilled. My question, after reading about this dish was - WHY? For presentation purposes? These are, after all, just steamed scrambled eggs that just happen to be inside an eggshell. Well, yeah, the eggshell makes a neat little package, especially since this is street food. 

I wonder if it will be worth all the hassle to try this in my kitchen. I suppose there's only one way to find out...


  1. Wow. I feel so cosmopolitan now. Imagining myself at the next cocktail party: "We're raising Slavonian Dwarf Naked Neck Chicken, what are you up to?"

    Off to make Eggs Florentine.

  2. I Googled "Florentine" to check on what other dishes use spinach, and found a wealth of recipes! How's that for being egged on to eggsperiment in the kitchen?

  3. And there are eggs from ducks..."balut" anyone?