I love my eggs well done. I mean that I like both the yolk and the white to be set regardless of how the eggs are prepared.
My First Uncooked Egg
My most embarrassing experience was being invited to the home of an older Persian couple in India. Vegetarian food is abundantly available in India and it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to eat what they prepared. I remember sitting down to a meal of salad, tadig, and chicken. When the husband realized that I wasn’t eating the chicken, he kindly offered me a fried egg. I was 25, and this was the first time I was served a soft egg. It was barely cooked and I looked on in (mental) consternation as he served it to me. I most certainly wasn’t going to make a fuss about it, so I blended it with the hot rice hoping to cooking it a bit more. Elsewhere in India, my omelettes, my delicious egg rolls, my fried eggs well always made the way that I like them without any special instructions from me.
Food in Japan
We’ll skip over Sudan because I rarely ate breakfast at restaurants there unless you count the cinnamon buns at Ozone. I tended to host potlucks or go to potlucks. So let’s fast-forward to Japan, where people often add a barely cooked/raw egg to food. I tried it one, again hoping that the egg would cook into the dish, to no avail. Similarly, I don’t like okonomiyaki, takoyaki or any of those foods with a soft centre.
I’m sitting at Celicioso having breakfast. I used Google Translate on my phone to explain to the waiter that i would like my eggs well-done. I can handle it if you make my eggs crispy on the outside, but please don’t make them burnt. In Budapest, staying at Brody House, I was served an omelette terribly burned on the outside while uncooked inside. At the Farm in Prague, I’ve gotten omelettes too brown on the outside and unset in the centre. Cafe Savoy usually gets it right, along with Cafe Misto. Making a well don’t egg without burning it is not hard, but requires patience. You need to turn down the heat to let the yolk set without burning the outside.
The quick cheat is to break the yolk. I understand wanting to please the customer but seriously, serving a burned omelette?! Burned != well done!
Special Food Requests
Chef’s probably hate people like me, with our special requests. I like dressing but not too much. Prepare my fries crispy but not my eggs. I love trying new foods and savour delicious flavours. Oh, but ham is not bacon. So as a mostly pescatarian who eats bacon (only!), I appreciate when menu descriptions are accurate, not approximate. (Yeah, Gabrielle Hamilton would probably hate cooking for me – book review coming soon.)
I’m thinking of the green olives I had at La Tarolina de Aravaca last week, the creative smores (nothing like those too-sweet campfire creations) at a restaurant that a friend and I stumbled across in Austin, delicious grilled octopus at a local place in Madeira, everything on the menu at the delicious creative cuisine restaurant in Nagoya, a mix seafood plate after climbing many stairs to get to a restaurant in Dubrovnik, delicious antipasti at many restaurants in Venice. There are ingredients that I don’t eat/won’t eat but when the things that a chef or cook uses the things that I do eat in a new, delicious combination, adding flavours or highlighting their natural delicious flavour, it fills me with delight.
Maybe I should stop ordering eggs at restaurants. I love eggs the way that I make them, and I cook them regularly. I’ve never been pleasantly surprised by a creative egg dish.