Let’s talk about eggs for a moment. How do you like yours? If you’re a traditionalist, you might opt for scrambled. If you like a runny yolk, it has to be over-easy or sunny side up. A habitual bruncher would identify the poached variety, of Benedict fame. What, then, of the 64-degree egg? In fact, what is a 64-degree egg? And why are you introducing Celsius-to-Fahrenheit conversions into my egg options?
A 64-degree egg (that’s ~147 degrees Fahrenheit) is an egg cooked in an immersion circulator at a low-for-cooking temperature. Unlike a poached egg, where a soft boil solidifies the white along with some of the yolk, a 64-degree egg is more unctuous throughout. Depending on preparation — 63-degree eggs are also common — the white and yolk are cooked uniformingly (and minimally) all the way through; the whole thing jiggles lasciviously, threatening to rupture before you even pick up your fork.
What’s the payoff? Some kitchens use the 60-something degree technique because of how the barely-congealed eggs blend with and enrich pasta dishes: my first such sous vide egg was in Ardeo + Bardeo’s carbonara pasta; Vinoteca’s homemade linguine also shows a practical application of the trend.
Alexandria’s Bastille adds a 60-degree egg to its roasted mushroom and organic greens salad, while Drafting Table on 14th Street will top anything on its menu with a 64-degree egg for $1. (At Smith Commons, a 63-degree egg is a $4 brunch side.)
Flavor-wise, an egg is still an egg, and it’s hard for me to discern much difference between a sous vide egg split wide open and one that’s merely been cooked runny, though I do share the City Paper’s “eggs on everything” philosophy, and there’s nothing better than dipping bread in excess yolk, so I say bring it on.
But that’s just me. Is the 60-something degree egg appetizing to you, or is it a culinary affectation, like the egg lover’s oxford comma?
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