French Egg Culture

My earlier post put my mind on France and, especially, on Hôtel SPA le Calendal in Arles, where we stayed last June. Every morning we spent there, I cooked soft-boiled eggs for breakfast. In the breakfast area, the hotel provides a constant-temperature hot water bath where guests can cook soft-boiled or hard-boiled eggs. Every morning, using a wire spoon, I lowered an egg into the hot water in the stainless steel container   Once the egg was in the water, I hung the upper end of the spoon hung on a rail on the side of the container. Then, I took my cup of fresh espresso, a fresh croissant, and a small three-minute hour-glass-shaped sand timer back to my table to wait. When the sand ran out of the timer, I raised the egg out of the water, put it in an egg cup, and used a stainless steel egg topper—operated like a pair of scissors—to snip the top of the shell off.  Thin, long-handled spoons made the eating of the egg a simple and satisfying process. I’ve never seen egg-bath devices such as the one at the Arles hotel. I told my wife this morning I’d like to have one; she thinks I’m a little dingy. She is not a soft-boiled egg eater; were she a fan, she would realize just how much joy such a machine can offer. I suppose I can make do without the machine that gives eggs the perfect hot-water bath temperature. But the egg topper; now that’s something I may not simply want, but NEED.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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