Elite Egg, day 3: Scrambled battles soft-boiled for a spot in the finals

Graphic: Karl Gustafson
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Previously on Elite Egg, scrambled squeaked out a win over hardboiled and poached brought sunny-side down, then baked got thumped by soft-boiled, while over medium played tough and overthrew over easy. Read the rules, such as they are, here.

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Scrambled (1) vs. Soft-boiled (4)

This is a tough one.

Soft-boiled eggs are so fancy, ya fancy bastards. They’re downright elegant. As mentioned on the occasion of this egg’s first-round victory, it’s also versatile—great on its own, great atop another breakfast, great in a salad, just great. They’re also insanely simple. Boil them. There are many ways to do that, but in the end, you boil them for the right amount of time, and that’s the deal.

Cons: The margin between a soft-boiled egg and a medium-boiled egg is very thin. The switch over to hard-boiled, just as thin. And then there’s the extra (eggstra) ingredient question. We disqualified the mighty omelette for the standard, in the United States at least, inclusion of one to several additional and prominent ingredients. The soft-boiled egg suffers from no such issue—but if I’m honest with myself, does my fervent love for a soft-boiled egg diminish just a trifle if I’m not allowed an egg cup?

It does. That says more about me than about the egg, but I’m the only judge here, and if I’m not honest with myself, then why bother?

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But this won’t come down to my love of a cute accessory. This comes down to these questions:

  1. Is the best soft-boiled egg better than the best scrambled egg?
  2. Which one of them is worst when badly prepared?
  3. If I had to give one of these up forever or lose them both, which would I choose?
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The answers are 1) no, 2) scrambled, and 3) please don’t make me make that choice.

The best scrambled egg is better than the best soft-boiled egg. Easy. The worst scrambled egg is definitely worse than the worst soft-boiled egg, because an overcooked soft-boiled egg is just a hard-boiled egg. That would seem to give the SBE an edge. And yet, if you get a bad soft-boiled egg, it’s just a bummer note in your meal. If you get bad scrambled eggs, there’s a pretty decent that the breakfast in question gets filed in your mind under “just the worst.”

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And that’s the key. A soft-boiled egg is, like an egg cup, a cute and delicious accessory to a meal. Scrambled eggs are often the main event. And that’s because they’re great.

Advancing: Scrambled


Poached (2) vs. Over-medium (4)

Illustration: Karl Gustafson
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Poached.

I know I wrote a love song to over-medium eggs yesterday. I didn’t think it would happen. The upset caught me. That’s the great thing about Cinderella stories in brackets! They stomp in and refuse to be discounted.

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Then they get eliminated in the next round, because the competition doesn’t get weaker. Over-easy? Boom! Surprise victory. Pour Gatorade over the over-mediums, they earned this one.

But here comes the totally healthy Golden State Warriors (I don’t follow college hoops, just give this to me).

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I love the Portland Trail Blazers deeply. I love Damian Lillard. I love CJ McCollum. I love Robin Lopez, even though he’s a Bull now. I would do just about anything to ask Bill Walton if a hot dog is a sandwich, and he’s a vegetarian but I just know he’d be a good sport. I want the Blazers to win upset after upset. And when they inevitably lose to a bigger, meaner, more formidable team, I will not be even a little surprised.

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I still love you, over-medium. But poached eggs are perfect.

Advancing: Poached


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Tomorrow: The finals!

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About the author

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.