When I first came to the US from England one of the things I fell rapturously and instantly in love with (as do many UK tourists while here) is that, at breakfast, one is asked “…and how do you want your eggs?” To the English tourist this is an unaccustomed question. In the UK (other than whether poached or scrambled or soft-boiled i.e. the “genre” of egg style) a fried egg is a fried egg is a fried egg in terms of done-ness. One is not asked how one wants one’s fried egg “done.”
After thirty years in the US I am beginning to wonder whether offering the options is actually not a disservice to the fried egg. Especially in the past ten or fifteen years I have noticed that “over easy” “over medium” or whatever, are far too often being woefully ignored. To my mind, “Over easy” is a euphemism for (in “The Three Bears”’s lingo) “Just Right.”
But in recent times it has been anything but. I think 90% of fried egg eaters want their eggs cooked “Just Right”. It’s what you get in England, without the option for anything else. It is defined as having lots of runny yolk (with maybe a little firmed-up yolk at the edges) but that’s a warmed-thru yolk, a basted (or “over”) white top, and everything cooked sufficiently so that no whites remain in that absolutely awful raw state which reminds you of what an egg really is and is (in recent times) the bane of US diners and fast-order joints NO MATTER what the ordering instructions.
I was just wondering in general terms, three things:
1) Do you agree with my theory that 90% favor “Just Right” fried eggs?
2) Have others noticed that fried eggs are being purveyed in fairly horrible manner these days, much more so than in 20th Century times?
3) Should a default “Just Right” be the unstated default and the only order be other than that “Hard as yellow hockey puck” or “liquid placenta-like whites please” or similar.
I know this is an entirely spurious thought as one is not going to change tradition at this or any other stage, but I travel the country and one thing is guaranteed. Very few places anywhere seem to care one jot about how their eggs are served regardless of what’s on the ticket. My point being: “why, then, ask me in the first place”!?
Trivial and yet important if you like (as I do) good fried eggs and I’ve really seen them in a seeming continent-wide tailspin in the past decade. I’ve stopped eating breakfast out by and large as a result of this. just recently in LA at a notable diner: yuk. Runny horrible blubbery whites.
We could now move onto the pandemic of accompanying limp toast, but that would require an entire separate doctoral thesis.
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