Just when you thought you knew all the ways to make eggs in the morning, along comes Instagram and its shiny new photos of something called “cloud eggs” that look like a cross between whipped cream and macaroons.
But while cloud eggs are settling nicely into their Instagram spotlight, the dish has been around for centuries.
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The first “cloud eggs” hashtag appeared on Instagram 214 weeks ago (math: that’s over 4 years ago):
The 400-year old recipe, initially known as Eggs in Snow, is quite easy to pull off. Simply separate the egg whites from the egg yolks, beat the whites as if you’re making a merengue, place on a baking sheet, bake, add the yolks, bake some more, and in about 5 minutes, cloud eggs are born.
NPR talked to the culinary director at Serious Eats, who points out a recipe for Oeufs à la Neige (eggs in snow), in Le Cuisinier François, published in 1651, a prequel to France’s world culinary domination.
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The next time you see a photo of egg clouds, give a small thanks to modern ingenuity. Back when eggs in snow what a thing, people were using sticks to whip their egg whites into stiff peaks, and baked them on hot coals instead of ovens. Now that’s a photo op.