Ornamental Separator

Tomatoes and Eggs

Learn about this recipe from our historic foodways staff, then try it at home

The earliest American tomato recipes in print date to the third quarter of the 18th century. This particular recipe is probably Spanish in origin and was described in West Indian journals in the 17th century. Tomatoes were introduced to Williamsburg diners by Dr. John de Sequeyra in the mid-18th century.

18th Century

Peel the skins from a dozen large tomatas, put four ounces butter in a frying pan, add some salt, pepper, and a little chopped onion, fry them a few minutes, add tomatas and chop them while frying; when nearly done, break in six eggs, stir them quickly, and serve them up.v

— Randolph, Mary. “The Virginia Housewife”

21st Century


  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 4 oz. of butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 large eggs, whipped (May use egg substitutes)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley (optional)


  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent.
  2. Add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as they are put into the pan. Cook the mixture until the tomato juices have evaporated.
  3. Add the eggs and stir until they are set.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish with minced parsley.

Learn More


Historic Foodways