In the movie 'Runaway Bride', Richard Gere, with that beautiful hair of his, asked every one of Julia's former fiancés about the kind of eggs she liked. When he revealed the profound reason behind that question at the end of the movie, it did make me think about the sort of eggs I prefer!
Unlike her, I did not have a crisis of identity or a toxic streak of co-dependency.
I just like eggs! A lot. Sunny-side up preferably.
But before I rave about my go-to eggs, let's dissect this a bit. The conversation around ways to prepare eggs can turn out to be as scrambled as a perfectly aerated pair of eggs folded in with a dollop of cream and butter. If that's not a good way to die, I don't know what is.
And speaking of scrambled eggs, there are a hundred different ways to prepare eggs based on someone's affinity towards the yolk, their motive behind eating an egg, the associated nostalgia, and the amount of time they have on hand.
If there is even the slightest confusion in your head about the kind of eggs you like, try answering these questions -
Do you love the yolk or the whites? I don't even know the point of this conversation if you don't love either.
Are you eating an egg because you want to, or because some half-informed numb-nut told you that it's the only natural source of protein?
Do you like featuring it as THE hero, or prefer to use it as A ingredient? Like the French do. In every dish. Every!
What's the dish that you have in mind? Is it a breakfast core, a snack, or a sumptuous meal? Yes, an egg can be a meal. Gosh, the level of ignorance!
Do you have a fond memory associated with eggs from your childhood? And I'm not talking about the egging for wearing a dorky costume on the first day of school. That memory probably needs intervention from a licensed mental health professional.
Based on your response to those questions, your choice of eggs could range from a soft-boiled egg to an eggs-Benedict with smoked salmon. You could swap the smoked salmon for an affordable piece of ham. But let's admit it, if you're treating yourself to a Benedict, it's only a tiny step away from salmon, caviar and gold dust.
If a chef is reading this, I'm sure their head is split between two basic desires. The unnerving urge to make an eggs Benedict right this instance, and bite my head off in the comments below. "That's so presumptuous of you! Not every fancy cook eats salmon and caviar. Some of us also eat truffles!" 🤣
And there are countless other options to choose from. Fried egg, scrambled, omelette, poached, scotch, shirred, hard-boiled, and my personal favourite - sunny-side up (I can't even fathom what sense would it make to put the sunny side down!). This particular topic has a Wikipedia page dedicated to it. So, yeah! People are serious about their eggs.
Some believe that our inherent nature and attitude gets reflected in the kind of eggs that we prefer. But, I say that's a codswallop! An egg preparation may not tell you whether a person is an introvert or a Kardashian. It may not even tell you whether I am honest or a politician. But, it speaks a lot to the way I treat my food. The amount of effort and care that goes into a simple item like an egg does talk to how we treat the little things in life. Also, allegiance to any one style of prep does point towards a sense of routine. Most of all, as Runaway Bride showed us, the absence of a favourite does say a lot about our state of mind.
And while this is a good analysis by itself, a friend and colleague pointed out a crucial point that probably impacts our preference more than anything else - upbringing. I remember why sunny-side-up was so important to me while growing up. On the days where mom used to serve up veggies that were, for the lack of a better word, disgusting to eat as a kid, she'd always supplement it with a sunny. On the days when the family ran out of curry for whatever reason, I'd be happy to sacrifice it for a quick sunny on the side. The sunny-side-up has been a beacon of flavour throughout my childhood, and it soon transformed into my midnight snack of choice during college. And that only cemented my respect for it further! 🙂
The bottom line is this. Eggs are one of the most versatile forms of food known to man, and this has consistently been the case across regions, cultures, and religions for centuries. If you do not eat eggs, I feel sad for you. Not because you've missed out on an item of great flavour (which you have!), but because you've lost an opportunity to explore a piece of your identity. And if you do eat them but haven't figured out a winner yet, I'd say this -
You've got a lifetime to figure out the one that works for you, so keep trying. But more importantly, India serves a particularly exquisite medley of eggs called the 'anda ghotala' that may just be the perfect choice for you! 😅