Posted by: Erica Retrochef | June 18, 2012

Cuban Eggs

Considering our experience with “Spanish Rice Pronto,” which was just rice drowning in tomato sauce, I am heavily skeptical of any vintage recipe that claims to bring Latin American flavors to North American kitchens. But this one’s got cheerful little boys sailing boats, and they’re clearly very dedicated to the model boats since they have extremely authentic sailor suits to wear while sailing their boats. And eating hot dogs.

And somehow this is paired with a recipe for Cuban Eggs. Eat “hearty!”

CUBAN EGGS

In a skillet, place 1 cup sausage and 2 teaspoons finely chopped onion. Fry for 5 minutes and add 4 tablespoons Heinz Tomato Ketchup. Add 6 eggs, beaten well and seasoned with 3/4 teaspoon salt and a dash of pepper. Stir gently until cooked and serve on buttered toast.

I have to admit, I really don’t know anything about traditional Cuban cuisine. According to Heinz, all you need is a bit of sausage and ketchup to make Cuban Eggs. Whether the end result is authentic or not, I won’t be able to say, but I am curious to know if this will be tasty or terrifying.

This is perhaps the first recipe I’ve seen that measures ground meat by volume rather than weight. (Incidentally, if you’re curious, 1 cup is approximately 1/2 pound of sausage.)

Everybody walked into the kitchen sniffing eagerly as the sausage cooked.

Once the ketchup went in, the smell in the kitchen changed from tasty sausage to… ketchup. Everybody stopped sniffing.

I hoped the eggs would coat everything and hide the ketchup-sausage. Maybe we were back on track to “nice scrambled eggs, with slightly odd bits in it.”

And then something went weird. It started to get really scary looking. The ketchup did something strange to the eggs, and they just weren’t scrambling right — it’s hard to describe, but the consistency looked completely wrong.

I love scrambled eggs, cooked with a bit of butter and salt and left a little runny. For this, though, I cooked the eggs way to long to try to get every trace of moisture out. It only sort of worked — yes, the eggs were dry, but they were still… weird.

This was really pretty bad. I did manage to dry the eggs out like I wanted, but they ended up tasting spongy (sort of a mushy dry). Everything tasted like ketchup, ketchup and nothing else. I sort of get what I think the Heinz company was going for, but it would have been better to have a nice fresh salsa on the scrambled sausage eggs instead.

Shelf Life Taste Test shared this 1932 ketchup ad on Flickr. Save your ketchup for hot dogs, kids!

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Responses

  1. LOL…maybe catsup should have been saved for splashing over the finished eggs. I hate catsup on eggs, but my four siblings loved it.

  2. UGH, but I agree with P.P. above – catsup on eggs is vile to me, but others I know indulge freely. Maybe to them, this dish would have been great… sorry you wasted perfectly good-smelling sausage for this!! Gray eggs!! Too, too weird.

  3. I always put ketchup on scrambled eggs, if there is no meat.

    We do a thing where I cook home fried potatoes, THEN add scrambled eggs, and cook the eggs in with the potatoes. Ketchup goes on that quite well.

    If there is meat, I want fried eggs. No ketchup.

    Having said all that, what’s Cuban about this? If it had a little green pepper in it, it’s a stretch even then to make it Cuban. I might try this with some chorizo, that’s at least Spanish.

    Or maybe skip the ketchup and use salsa?

  4. Apparently, Cuban eggs are a real dish, which involve tomatoes, cheese, and other ingredients. I’m not sure how authentically Cuban that dish is, but I suspect this was a crude attempt at approximating it.

    • Quite crude, even for that date and time.

  5. I’m too fascinated by the sailor suits.

    I would like to see Heinz ketchup as a client on Mad Men, lol! Sailor suits???

  6. For those of us not familiar with Cuban cuisine, I’m not sure this is a “proper” introduction. It’s recipes like this that sustained our interests in “international” flavors back then I suppose:)

    Thanks for sharing, Erica. Will you be joining us for the Picnic Game this year? The letters are going pretty quick. Pop over to choose a letter if you like. It’s going to be a GREAT picnic and we can always use a “retro” dish, lol…

  7. Hooray! You’re coming to the Picnic, Erica and you’re bringing the letter O Oh it’s going to be such a Grand picnic again this year!!! “See” ya there!!!

    • Can’t wait!

  8. Hmm, I totally misread the eggs as being chopped, so I was assuming this would be a sort of sausagey egg salad. Maybe I’ll have to try that.

  9. I think they were trying to replicate chorizo and eggs, although why on earth they’d call it “Cuban eggs” is beyond me, unless it was to go with Cuba being a popular vacation destination. But…yeah. The end result looks like the kind of chorizo and eggs you’d get at one of those really cheap and awful 24-hour Mexican drive-thrus in California and Arizona after it’s been sitting in a steam table for its 16th straight hour.


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