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Bennett Winch SC Holdall

This is how James Bond really likes his eggs

10 April, 2024

Forget the martinis. Ian Fleming's novels reveal a surprising secret about James Bond: his obsession with eggs. We crack open every reference in the original Ian Fleming James Bond novels to see how 007 likes his.

james bond eggs ian fleming books novels

Agent 007 eats eggs in almost every Ian Fleming James Bond story
photo © Bond Lifestyle

Towards the end of this article, you will find an overview of each type of egg and how many times Bond has consumed it.

Scroll down or click here for the "007 In New York" section, in which Fleming gives us a detailed recipe for the ultimate James Bond scrambled eggs.

 

Casino Royale (1953)

The first James Bond adventure introduces readers to secret agent James Bond as he takes on Le Chiffre in a high-stakes game of baccarat.

"Bond liked to make a good breakfast. After a cold shower, he sat at the writing-table in front of the window. He looked out at the beautiful day and consumed half a pint of iced orange juice, three scrambled eggs and bacon and a double portion of coffee without sugar. "

James Bond Scrambled Eggs and Bacon in Casino Royale

James Bond eats scrambled eggs in Casino Royale
photo © Bond Lifestyle

When Bond talks to Vesper in Chapter 9, they enjoy some caviar with grated egg. "She finished her story just as the waiters arrived with the caviar, a mound of hot toast, and small dishes containing finely chopped onion and grated hard-boiled egg, the white in one dish and the yolk in another." Bond asks Vesper: "How do you like the grated egg with your caviar?" to which she replies "It’s a wonderful combination".

In Chapter 14, Bond orders some more eggs with champagne for Vesper and himself in the nightclub Roi Galant. "They were given a corner table near the door. Bond ordered a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and scrambled eggs and bacon."

 

Live And Let Die (1954)

At the St Regis Hotel in New York, Bond orders eggs for breakfast "‘Room Service, please,’ said Bond. ‘Room Service? I’d like to order breakfast. Half a pint of orange juice, three eggs, lightly scrambled, with bacon, a double portion of Café Espresso with cream. Toast. Marmalade. Got it?’"

James Bond Scrambled Eggs and Bacon and Toast in Live And Let Die

James Bond eats scrambled eggs in Live And Let Die
photo © Bond Lifestyle

Later, again at the St Regis Hotel in New York, Bond order eggs, but this time he wants the eggs "shirred".

"Room Service, good morning," said the golden voice. "Breakfast, please," said Bond. "Pineapple juice, double. Cornflakes and cream. Shirred eggs with bacon. Double portion of Café Espresso. Toast and marmalade."

When Bond and Solitaire travel together on a train towards St Petersburg, Florida, the couple "ordered scrambled eggs and bacon and sausages, a salad, and some of the domestic Camembert that is one of the most welcome surprises on American menus."

In Jacksonville, FL, Bond once again orders some eggs for him and Solitaire: "‘Orange juice, coffee, scrambled eggs, twice,’ said Bond briefly." But of course, Bond, egg-snob as he is, can't help but comment on the American eggs.

‘The scrambled eggs’ll be cooked with milk,’ said Bond. ‘But one can’t eat boiled eggs in America. They look so disgusting without their shells, mixed up in a tea-cup the way they do them here. God knows where they learned the trick. From Germany, I suppose. And bad American coffee’s the worst in the world, worse even than in England. I suppose they can’t do much harm to the orange juice. After all, we _are_ in Florida now.’ 

When Bond is in Jamaica, Fleming once again describes Bond's breakfast in great detail: "Paw-paw with a slice of green lime, a dish piled with red bananas, purple star-apples and tangerines, scrambled eggs and bacon, Blue Mountain coffee—the most delicious in the world—Jamaican marmalade, almost black, and guava jelly.

When with Quarrel, Bond eats "one of the succulent meals of fish and eggs and vegetables that were to be their staple diet", prepared by Quarrel.

 

Moonraker (1955)

In the novel Moonraker, James Bond only consumes eggs once: "In Dover, Bond pulled up at the Café Royal, a modest little restaurant with a modest kitchen but capable, as he knew of old, of turning out excellent fish and egg dishes. The Italian-Swiss mother and son who ran it welcomed him as an old friend and he asked for a plate of scrambled eggs and bacon and plenty of coffee to be ready in half an hour."

James Bond Scrambled Eggs and Bacon in Moonraker

James Bond eats scrambled eggs in Moonraker
photo © Bond Lifestyle

Diamonds Are Forever (1956)

During a road trip with Felix Leiter in New York State, they stopped for lunch at The Chicken in the Basket, a log-built Frontier-style road-house. "But the scrambled eggs and sausages and hot buttered rye toast and the Miller High Life beer came quickly and were good, and so was the iced coffee that followed it."

James Bond Scrambled Eggs and Bacon in Diamonds Are Forever

James Bond eats scrambled eggs in Diamonds Are Forever
photo © Bond Lifestyle

 

From Russia, With Love (1957)

In From Russia With Love we really get a good look at Bond's peculiar preferences regarding hen's eggs, plus one of the best and most detailed descriptions of his breakfast routine.

Bond is at his own apartment in London, completely bored from "months of idleness and disuse" in Chapter 11, aptly named "The Soft Life". In the description we find out that not only Bond's life has become 'soft' but he also prefers his boiled eggs VERY soft. In the paragraph below, Fleming mentions Bond likes his eggs boiled for 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

James Bond Boiled Eggs and Coffee in From Russia With Love

James Bond prefers his egg boiled in From Russia With Love
photo © Bond Lifestyle

"Breakfast was Bond’s favourite meal of the day. When he was stationed in London it was always the same. It consisted of very strong coffee, from De Bry in New Oxford Street, brewed in an American Chemex, of which he drank two large cups, black and without sugar. The single egg, in the dark blue egg cup with a gold ring round the top, was boiled for three and a third minutes.

It was a very fresh, speckled brown egg from French Marans hens owned by some friend of May in the country. (Bond disliked white eggs and, faddish as he was in many small things, it amused him to maintain that there was such a thing as the perfect boiled egg.) Then there were two thick slices of whole-wheat toast, a large pat of deep yellow Jersey butter and three squat glass jars containing Tiptree ‘Little Scarlet’ strawberry jam; Cooper’s Vintage Oxford marmalade and Norwegian Heather Honey from Fortnum’s. The coffee pot and the silver on the tray were Queen Anne, and the china was Minton, of the same dark blue and gold and white as the egg-cup."

There's a lot to unwrap here! Let's start with the non-egg-related stuff.

In the paragraph, we also read once again about Bond's preference for Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee (read more here), but get the extra info that he likes it to be prepared in a pour-over Chemex (read more about the Chemex). De Bry was a shop in London that is not there anymore.

James Bond Eggs and Chemex Coffee Maker in From Russia With Love

A Chemex Coffeemaker is mentioned in From Russia With Love
photo © Bond Lifestyle

Bond also enjoys Tiptree ‘Little Scarlet’ strawberry jam and Cooper’s Vintage Oxford marmalade, both of which, incredibly, are still available today!

Regarding the egg, he eats one, cooked for only 3 minutes and 20 seconds. I have tried to cook it exactly 3m20s and it's quite short, keeping the egg yolk and even the egg white very runny. Comment below if you like your eggs cooked this short!
 

Brown or White Eggs?

Interestingly, Bond is said to have a strong preference for brown eggs, compared to white eggs.

The eggshell colour of an egg depends on the breed of the hen. Generally speaking, white shell eggs come from hens with white feathers, while brown shell eggs are produced by hens with brown feathers. Fleming mentions specifically that Bond likes the speckled eggs produced by French Maran hens which are indeed brown.

(If you want to try a French Maran egg, do a search for French Maran eggs, and perhaps you find some available near you.)

Nutritionally, both brown and white eggs are identical, unless the feed has been enhanced with for example Omega-3.

In another short story by Fleming, 007 In New York, Bond's preference for brown eggs is repeated (read more below).
 

Minton's Egg Cups

It's also mentioned that Bond eats the egg in a "dark blue egg cup with a gold ring round the top" from "Minton's". I have been searching for a while and finally was able to find a Minton's cup with gold band and a blue and white decoration. It's not clear if Bond's cup was completely dark blue, or if the cup was "dark blue and gold and white" as Fleming mentions at the end of the paragraph. I'm going with the blue and white variety that I found and is pictured below:

James Bond Boiled Eggs Mintons Egg Cups Gold Ring Blue china in Casino Royale

Antique Mintons egg cups with gold ring
photo © Bond Lifestyle

James Bond Boiled Eggs Mintons Egg Cups Gold Ring Blue china in Casino Royale

"MINTONS EST 1795 ENGLAND" logo stamped inside the egg cup
photo © Bond Lifestyle

I'm not sure if eggs are smaller than they used to be, but these egg cups are massive. 'Regular' or even 'Large' eggs are way too small for these cups (unless you put it upside down and use the smaller cup part). I've purchased Jumbo Eggs and those are a slightly better fit, but still a bit too small for these egg cups.

James Bond Boiled Eggs Mintons Egg Cups Gold Ring Blue china in Casino Royale size comparison

These antique Mintons egg cups with gold ring are a bit big for these eggs but if you put them upside down the eggs fit well.
photo © Bond Lifestyle

Later in From Russia With Love, when Bond and Tatiana are on the train making their way through Ljubliana, Slovenia, eggs are mentioned one more time: "They had breakfast of fried eggs and hard brown bread and coffee that was mostly chicory."

 

Dr No (1958)

When Bond and Honey Rider are captured and are in their room, Bond has breakfast while Honey takes a bath.

James Bond Scrambled Eggs bacon and toast in Dr No

In Dr No, during breakfast Bond and Honey Rider enjoy some scrambled eggs
photo © Bond Lifestyle

"Bond sat down at the breakfast table. There was a large tumbler of pineapple juice in a silver-plated bowl of crushed ice. He swallowed it down and lifted the cover off his individual hot-plate. Scrambled eggs on toast, four rashers of bacon, a grilled kidney and what looked like an English pork sausage. There were also two kinds of hot toast, rolls inside a napkin, marmalade, honey and strawberry jam. The coffee was boiling hot in a large Thermos decanter. The cream smelled fresh."

 

Goldfinger (1959)

When Bond and Tilly Masterton are held captive by Goldfinger, Bond asks if Tilly wants him to ask Oddjob for some breakfast. "Thank you. Scrambled eggs and coffee, please. And toast and marmalade." Tilly replies.

James Bond Scrambled Eggs bacon and toast in Goldfinger

James Bond eats scrambled eggs in Goldfinger
photo © Bond Lifestyle

 

From A View To A Kill (1960)

In the collection of short stories bundled in For Your Eyes Only, eggs are mentioned in From A View To A Kill and For Your Eyes Only, but not in Quantum of Solace, Risico or The Hildebrandt Rarity.

In From A View To A Kill:

"He wondered whether to have his eggs fried or scrambled when he got back to H.Q. around eight."

In For Your Eyes Only:

"Bond thought of the bacon and eggs that would soon be frying. And the hot coffee."

When eating with Colombo: "Over a mound of fried eggs and bacon washed down with hot sweet coffee laced with rum, Colombo dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s."

 

Thunderball (1961)

Bond instructs his housekeeper May: "Be an angel and make me your kind of scrambled eggs—four eggs. Four rashers of that American hickory-smoked bacon if we’ve got any left, hot buttered toast—your kind, not wholemeal—and a big pot of coffee, double strength. And bring in the drink tray."

James Bond Scrambled Eggs bacon and toast in Thunderball

James Bond and Felix Leiter eat eggs and bacon in Goldfinger
photo © Bond Lifestyle

At some point, Felix Leiter suggests to Bond to "have ourselves some eggs and bacon in one of those clip joints on Bay Street"

While chasing the Disco Volante in the submarine Manta, "Bond ordered poached eggs with rye toast and coffee".

 

The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)

The Spy Who Loved Me is written from the perspective of a female Russian spy, and she also likes her eggs.

"We drove back and went down to Eton and had scrambled eggs and coffee in a place called The Thatched House that Derek knew about and then he suggested we should go to the cinema."

"Could I have a couple of fried eggs, sunnyside up, and bacon?"

"So the last day was spent packing things into their station-wagon until the stores and cafeteria were empty of everything except plenty of bacon and eggs and coffee and bread for me and for the truckers to eat when they came up."

"I went behind the cafeteria bar, turned on the electric cooker, and put out three eggs and six slices of hickory-smoked bacon. I was hungry.'

When she is captured by Sluggsy, she has to make him some eggs: "How you want your eggs?’ The man called Sluggsy grinned at me. ‘Scramble ’em, baby. And nice and wet. Like mother makes."

"I had broken eight eggs into a bowl and had whipped them gently with a fork. The huge chunk of butter had melted in the saucepan. Beside it, in the frying pan, the bacon was beginning to sizzle. I poured the eggs into the saucepan and began to stir. While my hands concentrated, my mind was busy on ways to escape.'

"The eggs were ready and I heaped them out, still very soft, onto a flat dish and added the bacon round the sides."

"So I made scrambled eggs and coffee and hot buttered toast for myself as well, and, after I had taken theirs over, I sat down out of sight of them behind the counter and ate mine and then, almost calmly, lit a cigarette."

James Bond Scrambled Eggs bacon in The Spy Who Loved Me

And finally Bond himself asks her to make some eggs: "Well, thanks. That’s very kind of you.’ James Bond turned to me. ‘Any chance of some eggs and bacon and coffee? All this talking’s made me hungry. I can cook it myself if the stuff’s there."

 

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963)

In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Bond pictures a nice evening at home: "eat a large dish of May’s speciality—scrambled eggs fines herbes—have two more vodkas and tonics, and then, slightly drunk, go to bed with half a grain of seconal."

James Bond, in disguise as Sir Hilary Bray, has a good lunch: "The lunch came. Bond’s eggs were delicious—chopped hard-boiled eggs, with a cream and cheese sauce laced with English mustard (English mustard seemed to be the clue to the Gloria specialities), gratinés in a copper dish. Bond commented on the excellence of the cooking. ‘Thank you,’ said Irma Bunt. ‘We have three expert Frenchmen in the kitchen. Men are very good at cooking, is it not?’

Later, with Tracy at the airport, Bond orders "plenty of scrambled eggs and coffee."

 

007 In New York (1963/1964)

007 In New York Ian Fleming gives us some more detailed information about Bond's egg preferences, including a complete recipe for scrambled eggs.

In 007 In New York, Bond is nostalgic for the good old days of great New York hotels and how bad most hotels are with "the thin coffee, the almost blue-white boiled eggs for breakfast (Bond had once had a small apartment in New York.  He had tried everywhere to buy brown eggs until finally some grocery clerk had told him, 'We don't stock 'em, mister.  People think they're dirty'),"

So here once again Fleming specifically mentions Bond's preference for Brown eggs, just like he did in From Russia With Love. So much so that Bond was going around New York, trying to find brown eggs.

Then Bond is picturing his ideal lunch, at The Edwardian Room at the Plaza, a corner table.

"He would have one more dry martini at the table, then smoked salmon and the particular scrambled eggs he had once (Felix Leiter knew the head-waiter) instructed them how to make.*

And then we get pure egg gold: Ian Fleming ends the 007 In New York short story with a recipe for scrambled eggs!

- - - 

SCRAMBLED EGGS 'JAMES BOND'

For four individualists:
12 fresh eggs
Salt and pepper
5-6 oz. of fresh butter

Break the eggs into a bowl.  Beat thoroughly with a fork and season well.  In a small copper (or heavy-bottomed saucepan) melt four oz. of the butter.  When melted, pour in the eggs and cook over a very low heat, whisking continuously with a small egg whisk.

While the eggs are slightly more moist than you would wish for eating, remove pan from heat, add rest of butter and continue whisking for half a minute, adding the while finely chopped chives or fine herbs.  Serve on hot buttered toast in individual copper dishes (for appearance only) with pink champagne (Taittinger) and low music.

- - - 

I have tried to make this recipe (watch video here), and wow, this is pretty heavy on the butter! But it's tasty, try it yourself and let me know what you think!

The copper dishes I used for these photos and video are the Old Dutch Copper Plates, find them on Amazon.

James Bond Scrambled Eggs and toast in 007 In New York

Scrambled Eggs "James Bond", served with toast and pink champagne by Taittinger. Note that the pepper and salt shaker pictured here are seen in the movie Casino Royale.
photo © Bond Lifestyle

 

You Only Live Twice (1964)

Bond eats with Tiger Tanaka and learns about Japanese cuisine. "Lacquer boxes of rice, raw quails’ eggs in sauce, and bowls of sliced seaweed were placed in front of them both."

In Chapter 15, "Kissy gave him the rare treat of an egg beaten up in his rice and bean curd".

When 007 stays at the Miyako hotel in Kyoto he orders himself "a pint of Jack Daniels and a double portion of eggs Benedict to be brought up to his room."

This is the first time Bond eats Eggs Benedict, and in the next book he orders them again (read more below).

 

The Man With The Golden Gun (1965)

It seems that Bond liked the Eggs Benedict in You Only Live Twice, because in The Man With The Golden Gun he orders them once again: "James Bond unpacked his few belongings and called room service. A Jamaican voice answered. Bond ordered a bottle of Walker’s deluxe bourbon, three glasses, ice, and, for nine o’clock, eggs Benedict." (Chapter 7).

 

 

Octopussy & The Living Daylights (1966)

This collection originally included two short stories but recent editions contain two more, offering readers a look at other facets of the character.

In Octopussy Bond does not consume any eggs.

In The Living Daylights, when Bond is in Berlin, he has his classic combination of eggs, bacon, coffee and some whiskey when he wakes up at midday.

James Bond Scrambled Eggs bacon and toast and coffee and whisky in The Living Daylights

In the story The Living Daylights, Bond has eggs, bacon, coffee and some whiskey when he wakes up at midday.
photo © Bond Lifestyle

"Bond lit the gas cooker, and with a sneer at his profession, burned the message.  Then he brewed himself a vast dish of scrambled eggs and bacon, which he heaped on buttered toast and washed down with black coffee into which he had poured a liberal tot of whiskey."

 

Thrilling Cities (1959/1960)

Thrilling Cities is not a Bond story, but Ian Fleming's articles for The Sunday Times about 14 exotic cities around the world contain a few references to eggs.

In Hong Kong, Fleming enjoys some scrambled eggs "As, half-way through the delicious scrambled eggs and bacon, a confiding butterfly, black and cream and dark blue, settled on my wrist, I reflected that heaven could wait."

In Hollywood, Ian Fleming eats Eggs Benedict: " I was treated to the whole smart rag-bag of show-biz pressure-talk in between Eggs Benedict and those eighty per cent proof dry martinis that anaesthetize the uvula."

 

Conclusion: Scrambled, Not Shirred.

It's clear that James Bond prefers his eggs scrambled: he eats them 16 times.  Eggs Benedict are ordered twice, and other variations are mentioned once or twice: grated hard-boiled egg, shirred eggs, boiled egg, fried egg, poached eggs, chopped hard-boiled egg, raw quails’ eggs in sauce, and twice it's not specified how the eggs are prepared although it's likely that those were scrambled.

James Bond Total Egg Count in the Ian Fleming Novels

Scrambled eggs: 16
Casino Royale 2x
Live And Let Die: 4x
Moonraker: 1x
DAF: 1x
Dr No: 1x
Goldfinger: 1x
Thunderball: 1x
The Spy Who Loved Me: 1x
OHMSS: 2x
007 in New York: 1x
The Living Daylights: 1x

Fried: 2 (From A View To A Kill, For Your Eyes Only)
Eggs Benedict: 2 (You Only Live Twice, The Man With The Golden Gun)
Boiled and grated/chopped: 2 (Casino Royale, On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
Boiled: 1 (From Russia With Love)
Poached: 1 (Thunderball)
Shirred: 1 (Live And Let Die)
Raw quails’ eggs in sauce: 1 (You Only Live Twice)

(This does not include eggs eaten by other characters (for example in The Spy Who Love Me) or by Ian Fleming himself (in Thrilling Cities) - if I missed one, please send me a message!)

 

James Bond Egg Recipes

 

Boiled Egg

According to Fleming, Bond prefers his egg to be boiled for 3 minutes and 20 seconds. This VERY short: I have tried it and the yoke is still completely runny and even the egg white is not fully cooked. I recommend at least 4 minutes if you like a runny yolk but personally, I prefer a harder egg, cooked at least (00)7 minutes. Let me know your preference in the comments below!
 

Scrambled Eggs "James Bond" recipe

For four individualists:
12 fresh eggs
Salt and pepper
Chives or fines herbes (fines herbes is defined as equal amounts of chopped fresh parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil)
5 - 6 oz. of fresh butter (140 - 170 grams)

james bond scrambled egg recipe ingredients

Break the eggs into a bowl. Beat thoroughly with a fork and season well.

In a small copper (or heavy-bottomed saucepan) melt four oz. (114 gr.) of the butter.

When melted, pour in the eggs and cook over a very low heat, whisking continuously with a small egg whisk.

While the eggs are slightly more moist than you would wish for eating, remove pan from heat, add rest of butter and continue whisking for half a minute, adding the while finely chopped chives or fine herbs. Serve on hot buttered toast in individual copper dishes (for appearance only) with pink champagne (Taittinger) and low music.

- - - 
 

I have tried to make this recipe (watch the video here!), and wow, this is pretty heavy on the butter! But it's tasty, try it yourself and let me know what you think in a comment below!

 

 


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Comments

Perfect. I've been looking for the right egg cup for nearly 20 years now, (someone should sell a 007 branded one perhaps?).
The way Bond likes his eggs boiled follow the directions set in French culinary classic; Larousse Gastronomique, first published in 1938. So it would be quite on brand for Ian Fleming to have adopted this for Bond and his "fad for perfect boiled egg" You have to keep in mind that hens eggs were markedly smaller in those days, so in order to get exactly same results you will have to compensate for the size difference, or find very small (for modern standard) organic eggs.
I love the copper dish that you use in the photographs for this article - I've been looking for one for quite some time (to match the copper dishes as noted in his eggs recipe!). Where did you find it?
These particular dishes are by Old Dutch, find them on https://amzn.to/3K8fOxb

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