By Breckyn Crocker
FLORENCE, Italy–So, why do Italian and US cultures differ so greatly on the subject of eggs for breakfast? Since Italians don’t view eggs as breakfast food at all, mostly preferring a hot cappuccino and baked pastry, the omelet I tried at a restaurant turned out to be not-so-good: an orange, burnt-egg pancake. One theory on the difference is that the Catholic Church used to consider eggs meat and they were forbidden during Lent and holy days. So in the predominantly Catholic culture of Italy, eggs were only used for part of the year. Whereas, the chicken industry in the United States developed into a successful agriculture sector due to year-round eating of eggs, according to the National Chicken Council in the US.
The physical appearance of the omelets and fried eggs were different than I was used to as well. The eggs served had a vibrant orange yolk, due to the hen’s natural diet here. I was used to a less vibrant yellow yolk.
There is no concrete verification for why Americans and Italians use eggs differently, but at the end of my sad omelet meal I realized it was about culture. So while in Italy, I plan to stick to the routine of a light breakfast and save my appetite for a hearty lunch or dinner—maybe even a frittata.