Cloud Eggs Aren’t Just a New Instagram Fad, They’re Centuries Old

You’re probably wondering why cloud eggs are even a thing in the first place. How could you not? It seems like such a frivolous preparation of a breakfast staple that you can’t help but puzzle over why you would waste your time with all the extra steps. You’re not alone – the Washingon Post agrees with you, too.

Nevertheless, there is a reason to try cloud eggs — they have a fascinating history.

Instagram is Reviving a Classic

This latest Instagram fad is actually the newest interpretation of a 400-year-old recipe.

Daniel Gritzer, the culinary director at Serious Eats, enlightened NPR about this long-buried recipe saying, “They are basically a very, very old dish. It’s essentially something called Eggs in Snow, which the French have been making for centuries. And it’s suddenly taking off on Instagram.”

Indeed, you can find a copy of the recipe for Oeufs à la Neige (eggs in snow), in a cookbook from 1651, Le Cuisinier François. However, just like today, these whipped eggs were a novelty dish for those who had time to experiment in the kitchen.

The Science of Egg Whites

For generations, home cooks have been fascinated by egg whites. In many ways, they are an introduction to kitchen biochemistry. Though egg whites are mainly liquid, they are also chock-full of proteins. When those proteins are beaten, they bind to one another and recreate a net structure that holds the egg whites in place. The result is an edible foam.

From meringue to cake to mousse, beaten egg whites have been used in culinary experiments for centuries. Today, the fad du jour just happens to be a revival of an old classic, but we never know what tomorrow will bring.

Learn how to make your own cloud eggs here.