Stories From The Camp: Cloud Eggs & Instagram Trends
TUTC claims to be able to fulfill their guests’ every wish. Whether it’s bringing the latest Instagram trend to life or whipping up a traditional Ladakhi meal; you ask, we deliver. Rupert Winchester decided to test this claim and was pleasantly surprised…
I’m not one to pay much attention to what happens on social media. The viral trends of Twitter or the latest sensation on Facebook are not for me. That’s one of the reasons why I like Ladakh so much; you can switch off entirely from much of the modern world. There’s little bad news that gets through; no TV, not much internet – all is peaceful and meditative and you spend hours watching the play of light across distant mountainsides and watching cuckoos play in the willow trees.
But before I came up to Thiksey, I read an article in a newspaper about a new trend that was apparently sweeping Instagram, and, in a moment of boredom, I clicked on the link. To discover the latest food fad that is apparently taking the world by storm, Cloud Eggs.
Cloud eggs look like nothing I’d ever seen before. They look like the sun framed by billowy clouds. Basically, you whip up egg whites into a meringue, hollow out the middle and put under the grill. Then you pop the yolk into the hollow, and return to the grill for another couple of minutes. Place on a piece of toast and voila! The new breakfast sensation!
I would have thought no more about it, except that I knew that as part of the TUTC camp at Thiksey there is a small outdoor restaurant called the Café Cloud. “Hmmn”, I thought to myself, “Perhaps they should be serving cloud eggs at the Cloud Café”.
So after I got here I talked to Swapnil, the astonishingly talented head chef, to see if we could make some. “Oh, yes”, said Swapnil confidently. “I could do that.” And within a couple of minutes he had produced one, looking even better than those on Instagram. A tight, white mound of fluffy whites, slightly browned at the edges, with a rich golden sun at its centre, radiating its eggy goodness, sitting atop a piece of toast.
So how did it taste? Sublime. The clouds are, well … cloudlike, soft and melting, insubstantial, like a gentle kiss, while the yolk is hearty and full of goodness, like the sun. All the chefs, and sous-chefs pronounced it wonderful, so now cloud eggs are on the menu, as a tribute to Swapnil’s skill in the kitchen, and as a reminder of the altitude and of the closeness to the skies up here in Ladakh.
Cloud eggs are now on the breakfast menu here in Thiksey.
“Even easier than poached eggs”, said Swapnil happily. “And healthy, too.”
The TUTC camps may hark back to a more civilised era of travelling, with their unabashed luxury and creature comforts, but every now and then a little slice of cutting-edge modernity creeps in. Try their cloud eggs, and see what I mean.
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