Photo: foodwtf/TikTok

You Can Cook Breakfast on the Sidewalk in This Volcanic City in Japan

Food + Drink
by Matador Creators Mar 8, 2023

In the Shizuoka Prefecture of Japan, on the Izu Peninsula, a city called Atami sits in the crater of an extinct volcano on the eastern shore of Sagami Bay. Atami is known for its therapeutic hot springs, and the city’s name translates to “hot ocean.” There’s more to Atami than hot springs, however. The city’s geothermal activity also causes underground water to heat up, which can be seen in the form of steam vents throughout the area — vents so hot you can boil an egg in them.

@foodwtf 🎥 @winstonbutterfield shares his experience in📍#Atami #Japan where he cooked his breakfast using volcanic steam 🌋 #foodie #foodtiktok #japantravel #foodtravel ♬ original sound – Food Worth Traveling For

A TikToker named Winston Butterfield tested this theory. In the video above, Butterfield appears to set up a mesh colander over one of these steam vents, place four raw eggs inside of the colander, and wait for the steam to cook the eggs through. (Butterfield also cites chef and TV personality Alton Brown’s claim that cooking an egg in steam is superior to cooking it in boiling water because it helps to prevent the egg white from sticking to the egg shell, thus making it easier to peel.) He then blanches the egg in a faucet by the steam vent that flows with local mountain spring water and seasons the peeled egg with locally harvested sea salt from the Pacific Ocean.

This phenomenon is not unique to Atami and could theoretically be observed in other geothermal areas around the world, such as Yellowstone National Park, Rotorua in New Zealand, El Tatio in Chile, Hveragerði in Iceland, or in Beppu on the island of Kyushu in Japan (Atami is located on Honshu). Similarly, in the Azores Islands off Portugal, you can drink tea straight from a volcano. Of course, that’s not to say that you can start boiling eggs or making tea wherever you see a steam vent — a similar stunt would require you to prioritize safety and follow any guidelines or regulations set by local authorities when visiting these types of destinations.

But it sure is a cool idea for a hot breakfast.

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