What Are Gashouse Eggs And Why Are They Called That?

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but would a fried egg served inside a slice of toast taste just as good? The term "gashouse" eggs begs the question. Gashouse eggs really just means an egg fried in a carved out piece of bread. In the 1941 musical "Moon Over Miami," George Lessey's William Bolton calls the dish gashouse eggs, and waxes poetic as he describes how to make it. "You see, you dig a round hole in the bread, just like this. Drop it into the melted butter. Break an egg and drop it in the pool. And voila! You have a masterpiece." While Moon Over Miami is most often associated with another favorite breakfast item, Denny's Moons Over My Hammy, it also contributed to the popularity of gashouse eggs and its quirky little name. 

This dish has many other names like eggy in the hole, bird's nest, and one-eyed Jack, just to name a few. But these names more closely relate to the visual composition of the dish. So where did gashouse come from? 

The origin of gashouse eggs

Gashouse eggs were eaten across Europe, but became more well-known in the 19th century, says Eater. European immigrants brought the humble dish to America and its many names in many languages along with it.  It is possible that gashouse comes from the German "gasthaus," meaning small cottage or inn. This may mean that the dish was served in countryside cottages as a simple breakfast menu item, or be a bit more abstract, referring to the egg being housed inside the bread. Over time, though, it came to be known as gashouse, the charming term we hear in "Moon Over Miami." 

"Moon Over Miami" isn't the only movie to give this meal a resurgence in popularity. The 1987 film "Moonstruck" features an Italian-American family chowing down on a version of the dish served with peppers. And in the 2005 film "V for Vendetta," V prepares an eggy in the basket for Natalie Portman's character. No matter what you call it, this egg recipe is simple, delicious, and well, fun to think up names for.