The History of Deviled Eggs

The History of Deviled Eggs

By Rachael Rizzo

Eggs have been around since no one can remember. The constant question always comes up “What came first the chicken or the egg?” In truth all that doesn##Q##t really matter, because the fact is that the world likes them and has liked them for a very long time. Eggs can be cooked all sorts of ways, but the country##Q##s favorite has to be deviled eggs. When and with whom did these very special eggs get created?

To understand the history of the deviled egg we must first talk about the history of the eggs themselves. There is no doubt that they are easy to obtain, used in many recipes, and are great for the vegetarian folk. There are actually records of Jungle fowl being domesticated in India as of 3200 BC, China in 1400 BC, the Romans came along shortly thereafter, and finally domesticated fowl in North America with a voyage by Colombus in 1493. Along with the domestication came the laying of eggs which were all for our taking. Back in the day it wasn##Q##t only chicken eggs the world was eating, it was all sorts of bird and animal eggs including alligators.

The world can actually only suppose about when the use of eggs in baking started. The domestication of fowl had to start it, which was right about 6,000 BC (as discussed before). Historians do know that the making of breads and cake using eggs were made famous by Ancient Egyptian and Roman people. It was used as a thickening agent possibly by the use of trial and error. Nobles and priests in Egypt were having eggs in all their dishes.

It is now on to the history of those delicious deviled eggs. While eggs themselves have a very mysterious past, it must be supposed the same is true for deviled eggs. There are no specifics on them. Although you can say it was some what invented in Ancient Rome. To the Romans they were known as Andalusia. The term “deviled eggs” was invented in the 18th century. In Ancient Rome they would boil the eggs and then serve them with spices on the top. Anything from wine, pine kernels, celery, fish sauce, honey, white vinegar, and pine nuts were used on the eggs. That is a list of some pretty powerful ingredients.

Stuffed eggs were featured in medieval cookbooks. Inside were raisins, goat cheese, mint marjoram, cloves, and cinnamon. Since all the ingredients were in the same recipe, you can imagine what these eggs tasted like. Wow! By the late 16th century hard boiled eggs were all the rage. Then by the 17th century the hard boiled egg became a staple in households.

It was the 18th century when “devilling” food began. In the beginning it was not usually eggs that were devilled. It is believed that “devilled” food is called such because it is a spicy food and therefore is comparable to the high heat in which the devil lives (in hell).

The recipes all may be slightly different, but so far my run ins with deviled eggs all have been pretty good. While it is a delicately simple appetizer, it also packs a delicious punch. So bring on those medieval deviled eggs and spread the heart, or the crème, or the flavor….whatever your heart desires. It##Q##s everyone##Q##s game.

Creamy Deviled Eggs

Ingredients: 8 hard boiled eggs, 4 pickles minced, salt, pepper, 2 tsps of Dijon mustard, 1 tsp of parsley chopped, 1 cup of whipping cream, 2 tbs of buttermilk, ½ cup of basil leaves chopped, and 3 tbs of mayo.

1) Mix together the whipping cream and the buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 8 hours or until thick.

2) Peel the eggs and cut lengthwise. Remove the yolks with a spoon carefully. Place 4 yolks in one bowl and 4 yolks in another bowl. Set the whites aside. Mash each bowl of yolks with a fork.

2) Place the basil and mayo in a food processor. Blend for 2 minutes. Add the mixture to one bowl of yolks and mix. Then season with pepper and salt.

4) Add the crème mixture (crème fraiche), mustard, parsley, and pickles to the second bowl of yolks and mix. Season with salt and pepper.

5) Fill 4 of the egg whites with the first mixture and then fill the other 4 with the second mixture.

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