Okay, so scrambled eggs aren’t distinctly British. They’re referenced in culture from as far back as the Roman times right up to modern shows such as Frasier.
So, you’re probably quite used to the dish. It’s easy to make and tasty, goes well with bread of your choice, and is a lunch staple across the world.
But! We feel it’s important to dig a little deeper. Here we go, then!
What are Scrambled Eggs?
It’s a recipe consisting of chicken eggs stirred, whipped, and beaten so them become a bit of a mess. And that’s very tasty on toast.
Many folks like to add finely chopped onion, chives, and tomatoes to the meal. Or put smoked salmon on top!
However, it’s generally thought of as a low maintenance meal that’s easy to rustle up and satisfying to eat. Kind of like beans on toast.
Here in England it’s readily eaten with much relish, often viewed as a “dish of the people” that working/middle class folks in. Whereas upper class folks would likely sneer down at it haughtily.
But it’s a globally popular dish, which we’ll explore in more detail… after a historical deep dive, yo!
The History of Scrambled Eggs
Unfortunately, we can’t determine who exactly the first person ever was to scramble some eggs. We’d hazard a guess it was Bob from Burnley in 1963, but we’d probably be wrong.
Instead, most evidence points to Ancient Rome and antiquity. However, the Romans served the dish as a dessert with honey.
That’s the earliest documented historical records of the recipe, although there’s no reason why Ancient Egypt and even further back would have skipped on all of this.
The recipe moved around to the middle ages, where in the 14th century an Italian cookbook called Libro della cucina nodded merrily to scrambled eggs. It says:
“There is so much known about fried, roasted, and scrambled eggs that it is not necessary to speak about them.”
More recently, especially in the 20th century, the recipe has become something of a symbol for working class life.
Here in England, for example, it’s often a part of a full English breakfast.
Elsewhere around the world and it has a certain class about it. Again, in Frasier it was sung about by Kelsey Grammar in the show’s outro from 1993-2004.
Watching this American show here in England, the mention added a sense of familiarity to an otherwise often fanciful surroundings.
Seattle. America. Superpowers! Wealth!!
And that, in summary, is the journey of scrambled eggs over thousands of years! From Ancient Rome to an era defining TV show. Huzzah!
Global Variations on Scrambled Eggs
For such a simple dish, there’s an incredible array of differences on its serving all around the world. We’ve summarised some of the most interesting below:
- America: The eggs get scooped in towards the middle of the pan so it’s kind of like a large curd.
- The UK: There’s a furious and thorough mixing so the eggs have a soft texture.
- France: Traditionally, a double boiler was used for the eggs to ensure they were cooked properly. This process takes 40 minutes, but was championed by famous French chefs such as Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935).
- India: There’s a variation called egg bhurji, which includes onions, green chili, chopped ginger, and turmeric.
- Nigeria: It’s called fried eggs in this African country and they’re often fried to the point they’re like crisps.
- Venezuela: Here they have the name “parrot eggs”, although the preparation is similar to the UK’s approach.
- Iran: It’s called sirabij and is popular in the Caspian provinces of Iran, usually served with chopped and fried garlic.
Other areas of the world mix the scrambled eggs with soy sauce and serve it awash with that. Nice, eh?
What’s clear is the dish has mega versatility and will put a smile on the face of anyone around the world. Unless they don’t like eggs.
How do You Make Scrambled Eggs?
Seriously? You need help with this!? Well, you’re in luck! Because the Most Beautiful Man in History is here to help you out.
Jamie Oliver regularly champions the use of eggs for healthy meals and basic cooking skills. And you can see his “perfect” take on it above.
Really, though, all need are the following ingredients:
A dash of water
Add the water to a pan, boil it, add the eggs, and whip it up into a frenzy!
Get your bread toasted and you’re done! Add the scrambles on top and you’ve got the most basic but tasty dish going.
However, plenty of people like adding more in there to add stuff add. Things like using milk, butter, finely chopped onions, and some tomatoes.
Do so if you wish, but the minimalistic approach is better. Really, you don’t need to be adding butter to the thing. You hear!?