I love the egg man
January 16, 2010
You know how sexy it is to wake up to the aroma of bacon frying, bread baking and coffee brewing, right.
Unfortunately, you would not be at my house this morning. I woke to the smell of tuna and hard boiled eggs. My nocturnal reverie - the one where I wake up to the Stepford husband with terrific morning breath who makes me breakfast in bed after snacking on me - was shattered.
Luckily, I'm not one to let fantasies interrupted ruin my day, so I managed to roll myself out of bed, ignoring the unsensual tuna salad scents, and fumble my way to the coffee pot. Once lubricated with my brew, I felt ready to consider my morning meal.
Enter the egg.
After years of derision as a dietary foe responsible for heart disease, the lowly egg - inexpensive, low fat and a good source of protein - seems geared for a comeback. A mainstay of many diets around the globe since ancient times, the egg always has been my friend. Eggs are delicious and can be prepared as easily or complexly as you desire.
Who can argue with the beauty and simplicity - not to mention the savory flavor - of the deviled egg? The precursor to our modern finger food was an Ancient Roman recipe for boiled eggs "seasoned with broth, oil, pure wine, or are served with broth, pepper and laser," according to Apicius: Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome. You know those Italians can throw some food on the table.
Anyone who has ever watched their lovingly crafted souffle deflate minutes before meal time can attest to the complexity of this egg-based dish. According to the Oxford Companion to Food, the souffle, a light and frothy concoction either savory or sweet, was an 18th century culinary creation, whose name was derived from the French word meaning puffed up. Antoine Beauvilliers, author of L'Art du Cuisinier, was making souffles as early as 1782. I doubt you'll get any argument that the French know their way around a kitchen.
I might mention as well the contribution of the egg to Asian culinary arts - Chowan Mushi, the delicate Japanese steamed egg custard, for one, the nutritious and delicious Egg Curry found in Indian and Nepalese cooking, and the delicacy of preserved quail eggs in Chinese cooking
I'm not going to contest the cooking skills or ingredient choice of some of history's best cooks. No, I'm right there with them.
This morning's fried egg, seasoned with salt and pepper, then sandwiched between two buttered and toasted English muffin halves, may not have been the most sophisticated fare, but it sure did satisfy.