The history of broken or crashed eggs. Its origin
Broken eggs with ham , with sirloin, with chorizo , with chistorra , with gulas or without accompaniment. Broken eggs are, without a doubt, one of the star dishes in all of Spain.
However, despite being popular throughout our geography , it seems that we find it difficult to agree on its origin . Where do the broken eggs come from?
Probably one of the most famous references dates back to 1846. Then, the English traveler and Hispanicist Richard Ford spoke of this dish in his book “Gathering from Spain” . The author described them as a gastronomic resource for humble families.
In his chapter on Spanish cuisine he points out that fried eggs are, at all times, the most humble cuisine resource, accompanied with lean bacon or ham they are called lean eggs .
“Old woman frying eggs” by Velázquez or “Don Quixote” by Cervantés
But there are those who trace this simple (and delicious) delicacy much further back in history. Specifically to 1698. Date on which the painting “Old frying eggs” by Velázquez is dated . An oil that many associate with a still life because, despite showing a traditional scene, the protagonists are the same as those in this article: the eggs.
Broken eggs also appear in the letters that Lope de Vega sent to the Duke of Sessa in 1612 . The writer speaks of them in his epistle number 82, when he relates that ” I read some verses with the glasses of Cervantes, which were like badly made starry eggs .”
But it is precisely him, Cervantes, who has historically been attributed the first reference to this dish :
“A pot of something more vacant than a ram, splashed on most nights, duels and brokenness on Saturdays , lentils on Fridays, some additional palomino on Sundays, consumed all three parts of his hacienda . ”
This is the second sentence of Chapter I of Don Quixote. After exposing the origin of his ingenious gentleman, Cervantes defined it through his way of eating.
And here it is, precisely, on pages 69 and 70 of the most universal work in Spanish literature, where we find the first reference to what we now know as broken or crashed eggs. It is therefore that we could venture to say that the origin of this essential dish of our gastronomic culture has its origin in Castilla-La Mancha more than 4 centuries ago .
However, we must make a fair difference between duels and breakdowns and what we know today as broken eggs or crashed eggs.
Duels and broken: the waiting room for broken eggs
As we have already pointed out, duels and quebrantos are a typical dish of La Mancha gastronomy. They are mentioned in the first chapter of Don Quixote, something that made them famous. But they remain, to this day, one of the safe bets in the kitchens of houses and restaurants in that community .
Its name, according to some theories, refers to the abstinence from meat imposed on Saturdays in the kingdom of Castile. In this sense, duels and broken was a dish that could be broken, worth the redundancy, the ecclesiastical precept of fasting and abstinence that should be done on the sixth day of the week.
There are also theories that point to broken bones referring to the broken bones of the animal, because it did not eat the meat, only the brains or giblets.
Some even associate this last theory with some farmers who used the meat of cows, donkeys or horses that died suddenly, to make stews. From there would come the duels and crises that the farmer suffered during the preparation of the dish.
The base of this Manchego dish is, of course, the eggs. Specifically the scrambled eggs, which are accompanied by the chorizo, ham and pork bacon. Also, as we have mentioned, it can be accompanied by brains. All prepared in the pan. You can imagine its high calorie content!
In the Dictionary of Authorities of 1732 they mention the dish as follows : ” They call omelette and brains in La Mancha.”
Recommendations for eating broken eggs away from home
As you can see, it is a simple but tremendously delicious dish, for which we need very few ingredients. But perhaps despite everything you are too lazy to peel and cut potatoes and prepare the frying pan … Do not worry!
You can taste this wonder of our gastronomy in many restaurants, in any city . Of course, to be fair, we must recommend the best known place, even internationally, to eat some good broken eggs: Casa Lucio , in Calle Cava Baja in Madrid .
A pioneer for including this dish on his menu since 1975, Lucio, who came to Madrid from Serranillos, a town in Ávila, comments that this dish was “invented” by his grandmother, every time an egg fell on the ground he picked it up and to take advantage of it, he broke it on top of the potatoes.
Our best broken egg recipes
And you, are you able to resist broken eggs?
Broken eggs with ham . In each house they are made in one way or another, I leave you mine, which is in the style of Madrid cuisine. Fried eggs in a pan, usually accompanied by fried bakery potatoes and some ham.
Broken eggs with chistorra . Visiting Pamplona, I couldn’t stop buying chistorra and preparing a small tribute to one of the most typical and traditional products of Navarra. So this week some broken or crashed eggs have fallen with this delicacy.
Broken eggs with gluttony . Recipe that pleases both children and adults and that in this case we accompany with some baby eels in garlic. It is one of the most successful recipes with potatoes on the blog, a combination that few say no, and that if they go with some canes, wine and friends, they complete a perfect evening.
Broken eggs with octopus . This dish is like a gastronomic ecstasy, since my two favorite foods come together, some rich fried eggs and the Galician octopus. I always insist that a good raw material is the key to success, and this recipe is a good example of this.
Broken eggs with mincemeat or chorizo . A recipe to share among a group of diners, where they add eggs and potatoes to mince meat or fox and serrano ham, like the recipe that we are going to prepare today. It could not be easier and faster, and the victory is assured, especially when we break the yolks and they soak the rest of the ingredients.
Broken eggs with mushrooms . There is nothing more glorious than some eggs and chips, and if we give this simple recipe a twist, just a little, we can prepare this dish of yummy. A simple dish converted to a gourmet dish: broken eggs flavored with autumn and chanterelles.
Broken eggs with tomato and Idiazabal cheese . This recipe incorporates very simple ingredients, its base is a classic in the kitchen: eggs and potatoes. We will accompany it with all the flavor of a good garden tomato and one of the cheeses that I like the most, Idiazabal.
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