Calgary·Q&A

How about an egg on that? Why we live in an age of peak egg

It turns out that one of the latest food trends is also one of the most enduring: adding an egg to just about everything.

'Putting an egg on something gives it that extra hit of protein, at a fairly low cost'

Eggs are cheap, nutritious and Instagram-friendly, making them the perfect food for the social media age, says Homestretch food expert Elizabeth Chorney-Booth.l Her favourite egg destination? OEB (above) in Calgary. (Courtesy Teale Orban, OEB Calgary)

Eggs aren't just a breakfast dish anymore and haven't been for a while.

Nowadays, in a world where food needs to be as photogenic as it does taste delicious, egg yolk has become one of the most Instagram-friendly garnishes of them all. 

Elizabeth Chorney-Booth spoke to the Homestretch Wednesday about precisely that.

Q: Are eggs on everything a new trend?

A: This has been going on for a few years actually but in the last year or so, I've been seeing eggs — usually something with a nice, runny yolk — on top of just about everything … soup, pizza, burgers, salads, avocado toast, just random pieces of meat, pasta, tacos.

You name it, [these days] there's an egg on it.

Bibimbap, a popular Korean dish, contains a mix of ingredients that can change based on region of origin or even family tradition and include a protein-rich egg on top.

Q: Why eggs?

A:  Well, like a lot of hipster food trends, this is actually a case of old being new again.

Eggs are a very popular garnish in many international cuisines, because in some places, proteins like beef and pork are just not that common, so putting an egg on something gives it that extra hit of protein, at a fairly low cost.

Devilled eggs, which were popular in the 1970's and 1980's are making a comeback at places like the new restaurant at the King Eddie, where they're served with crispy fried chicken skin on top. ( Julie Van Rosendaal )

So it's not uncommon to find eggs on top of traditional Asian soups for example. You'll often find it on Ramen or soups like that.

I remember years and years ago, I went to a Korean restaurant and ordered soup and  they handed me a full egg — shell and all — and I had to crack it on top of my soup.

And that wasn't a trend thing at all — that was just a traditional thing.

There's also really common in what we would call peasant food in Italian and French food, because again, protein without the cost.

Q: Any other trend in eggs besides runny yolks?

A:  Sous Vide eggs are a big thing.That's a good way to put them on top of things.

The hard boiled egg is [also] making a comeback in different forms. Devilled eggs are huge right now.

I was actually at the new King Eddy restaurant the other day, and  they have devilled eggs with crispy fried chicken skin on top.

Scotch eggs I've [also] been seeing all over the place.

The Calcutta Cricket Club's Puri Chole is a north Indian classic that features deep-fried flatbreads with spicy chickpea curry, poached egg, onions. (Calcutta Cricket Club)

Q: Where are some places in Calgary to get eggs?

A: Everywhere really.

But there are some places who are doing some really fun things. One of my favourite dishes is the curried chips at Calcutta Cricket Club. You can get them at brunch with a poached eggs on top of your curried fries. It's delicious.

Charcut puts an egg on their famous Share Burger.

All the ramen places put eggs on their bowls.

Foreign Concept does them on top of their noodle bowls, too with a Sous Vide egg which is nice and creamy.

Like I said, devilled eggs you can get them at The Guild, you can get them at the King Eddy.

And for the reverse, of putting an egg on top of things, Two Penny does a really nice sort of dessert bun. When you break it open, egg yolk comes pouring out.

Devilled eggs are easy to make at home, as well. Make hard boiled eggs, scoop out the yolks and mix in some mayonnaise and mustard, says Elizabeth Chorney Booth. (Twyla Campbell/CBC)

Q: Is this safe?

A:  I think so. From what I understand, the bacteria is usually on the outside of the egg.

You often do see warnings on menus, however. So if you have a compromised immune system, or you're pregnant — you may want to be safe, but it really is a personal choice.

Q: Is this a trend that will last?

A:  There's been a backlash to this trend ever since it started, five or six years ago,so there's definitely naysayers. I've also been out with people who like I said, just don't like it. Eggs are gross to them, they don't like eggs, or they have an allergy, which can be really hard to navigate, when there's an egg on top of everything.

But because  it's rooted in tradition for a lot of foods, I think we're going to see eggs on top of a lot of things — but maybe more where they're supposed to be rather than on every single thing you order in a restaurant.

Q: Where are your favourite eggs served in Calgary?

A: I love the eggs at OEB. They have several locations now. They have these great farm fresh eggs with really golden yolks that are just beautiful. They taste great, and they put them on pretty much everything.


With files from the Homestretch

About the Author

Stephen Hunt

Digital Writer

Stephen Hunt is a digital writer at the CBC in Calgary. Email: stephen.hunt@cbc.ca