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Are eggs the perfect food?

Are eggs the perfect food?

The mighty egg—you'll find it in plain sight on your breakfast plate, hidden within your mayonnaise or holding together your favourite cake. Douglas Weissman explores its versatility

Eggs are everywhere all the time, even when we don’t notice them. They are on the breakfast plate, scrambled or fried. They hide in the mayonnaise spread across the toasted bun. They thicken the meatballs. Eggs are multi-dimensional and they make other ingredients multi-dimensional too. Few places embody the diversity of the egg more than the restaurant Eggslut.

Toast with avocado and egg

The original restaurant opened in 2011 at Grand Central Market, a type of casual fast-food court in Downtown Los Angeles. It has since opened locations across the city, as well as in Las Vegas, Seoul, London, Tokyo, Singapore and Kuwait. The magic of Eggslut is in its love for all things eggs demonstrated by how it highlights an egg both as an ingredient and the lead in the show of its most popular sandwich, the Fairfax. 

It is more than just a breakfast sandwich, it is a validation of all things good about eggs—the epitome of why an egg is so versatile.  

A brief history of the egg as food

Food historians have found evidence that humans have eaten eggs for approximately 6 million years. Relatively easy to obtain, they were originally enjoyed raw, from wild birds’ nests, and have been harvested from domesticated fowl before 6000 BCE. Evidence found around archeological sites has also demonstrated the use of eggs in breads and cakes dating back to ancient China, Egypt and Roman colonies.  

"Humans have eaten eggs for approximately 6 million years"

While the original European and American breakfasts consisted mainly of leftovers between the 16th and 18th centuries, an egg was an easy, and therefore cheap, source of protein. It was proffered as a key to the best breakfast foods by the author of one of the earliest known cookbooks in the Western world, Sir Kenelm Digby. It wasn’t until breakfast became a societal norm with the Industrial Revolution that eggs became a staple of the meal, known to help energize the workers of the world as they prepared for the factory or the farm.

What makes the Fairfax  


A post shared by Eggslut UK (@eggslutuk)

Eggs go beyond their shape and outer layer, and in fact, come to life when broken out of their shell. Eggslut’s Fairfax sandwich combines all that is gooey, savory and unctuous about eggs into every bite. Consisting of fluffy scrambled eggs, gooey cheddar cheese, sweet caramelized onion, herbaceous chives and a toasted brioche bun topped with heat from a Sriracha mayo.  

Traditional scrambled eggs act as the star of the sandwich, beaten in a cold sauté pan with butter until the yolks and whites are blended but not whipped to keep an even consistency. As the eggs turn to a thick custard, chives get folded in to create an herbaceous bite held together in the slow-cooked and fluffy scramble that eventually blends with the cheddar cheese and melts in your mouth. 

"It provides a masterclass in how simple ingredients—when used correctly—can have a big impact on an entire dish"

The eggs are the structure of the sriracha mayonnaise. While the condiment itself is little more than pre-made mayonnaise whipped together with sriracha, too many may take that fact for granted, as it actually provides a masterclass in how simple ingredients—when used correctly—can have a big impact on an entire dish.  

Finally, the brioche bun works as the foundation and the crown of the Fairfax. Made with yeast, flour and a good helping of butter and eggs, the eggs are an important factor in both binding the mixture and adding the indulgent fluffy texture that makes a brioche reminiscent of a buttery croissant or decadent Danish.  

What makes an "egg slut" 

Being a true egg slut is about finding the joy in eggs in all their forms. From gelato to over easy on toast, deviled to souffle, pickled to cream pies, the egg is a jack-of-all-trades in ingredient form, able to slip unawares into dishes that pack umami or that embrace the sweet.

Woman cooking egg

It's about understanding how and why an egg makes a dish better, with its yolk adding the needed fat to a cookie or corn cake, its white providing protein in shakes or creating elegant pavlovas. The restaurant Eggslut deserves its title because of how it observes the egg’s dimensionality, turning the number of ways a chef can utilize the ingredient in a single dish into an art form, or at least a gastronomical challenge.       

In the hands of the right chef, eggs can dance and sing, brown and lighten, make a dish fluffy or dense. They hide in plain sight, and when used as a wash, can even turn a pale dish golden. But in the hands of an egg slut, the egg is always the hero, always noticed and always appreciated. 

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