The 'World Cup of Eggs' Is a Delicious Global Competition We Can All Get Behind
An Instagram account is celebrating the 2018 World Cup by showcasing tasty egg dishes from all 32 participating countries.
The World Cup is one of the most inclusive international events on the global calendar: Every country plays soccer, and the event offers tantalizing matchups that seem completely unprecedented as far as trade or diplomacy goes. (I'm fairly certain that Nigeria and Iceland don't often think about each other in any political or cultural capacity, but they still found themselves in a crucial matchup that determined both of their fates in the tournament.) God bless soccer, and its way of generating white-knuckle interstate rivalries out of absolutely nothing.
That being said, we do have one other shared global heritage that rivals even the ubiquity World Cup; I speak, of course, of the diverse, delicious worldwide palette of egg dishes.
Seriously, eggs are in everything—sometimes as a baking ingredient, sometimes as the star of the show, and everywhere in between. Eggs are perhaps the only foodstuff that transcends the dietary restrictions and taste aesthetics across borders. So naturally, a guy named Charlie in the UK has decided to memorialize this year's competition with an Instagram campaign he calls "The World Cup of Eggs," wherein he is preparing eggs in the tradition of each of the 32 teams in the tournament. He has baked up a scrumptious batch of Brazilian "pão de queijo" (which essentially translates to "cheesy bread,") and whipped up a Croatian frittata with bacon and asparagus. This morning, he unveiled Belgian buttermilk waffles, and yesterday, a Japanese tamago kake gohan, or rice and egg bowl.
"It was a bit tricky to find something distinctive for every country—Saudi Arabia in particular, and it turns out Brazil and Argentina aren't that big on eggs either—but there is a universality to eggs that would've been difficult to find with, say, meat or cheese," Charlie tells MUNCHIES. "Plus, they're versatile: eggs show up in salads, desserts, snacks and all sorts of other dishes, and can be cooked in so many different ways that they won't get boring even after 32 dishes."
At his core, Charlie is a football fan who adores the World Cup, and has fond memories of the 2014 tournament where he and his friends drank beers and watched the matches all afternoon at the London haunts he'd regular. Since then, though, he's moved to a smaller town where he isn't able to engage with that daily bingeing, so he started the Instagram operation as a way to stay involved with the drama of the games, or as Charlie puts it, "I got lonely, so I started cooking a load of eggs."
Charlie says the thing he enjoyed cooking the most so far was the Iranian recipe, baghala ghatogh. You crack an egg into a pan that's already frying beans, dill, and turmeric, and end up with a colorful breakfast that's far and away one of the most eye-catching dishes he's featured. When I spoke to him, he was secretive about his plan for Japan, and feared that he might screw up the Portuguese dessert he's planning: "[Portugal] is the only one I'll be posting that day because I'm very aware that I may need more than one go at it," he quips.
His work should be a moral to all of us Americans; when your country fails to qualify in international soccer, never fret—just make eggs.