Today’s one hell of a good day if you happen to be a fan of hard boiled eggs. November 2 is National Deviled Egg Day!
Deviled eggs consist of hard-boiled eggs that have been split in half and filled with a mixture of egg yolk and other ingredients, typically mayonnaise and mustard (but never Miracle Whip, unless you’re my mom – blech). There are many other additions that can be mixed in, ranging from pickle relish and worcestershire sauce to onion, capers, and paprika. The “deviled” in the name refers to the spices that are added to the mixture. Deviled eggs date back to ancient Rome. When they weren’t busy feeding gladiators to the lions, the Romans domesticated fowl, and began making egg dishes of all sorts. Boiled eggs served with spicy sauces poured on top were the precursor to modern deviled eggs. A recipe from a 15th century Italian cookbook says, “Make fresh eggs hard by cooking for a long time. Then, when the shells are removed, cut the eggs through the middle so that the white is not damaged. When the yolks are removed, pound part with raisins and good cheese, some fresh and some aged. Reserve part to color the mixture, and also add a little finely cut parsley, marjoram, and mint. Some put in two or more egg whites with spices. When the whites of the eggs have been stuffed with this mixture and closed, fry them over slow fire in oil. When they have been fried, add a sauce made from the rest of the egg yolks pounded with raisins and moistened with verjuice and must. Put in ginger, cloves, and cinnamon and heat them a little while with the eggs themselves. This has more harm than good in it.” I’m a little unclear what “verjuice” and “must” are, let alone why anybody would want to follow a recipe that boasts “more harm than good” right there in the instructions, but who am I to judge life in 15th century Italy?
Tara happens to be renowned for her deviled eggs. Renowned within her immediate family, anyway. We actually made them earlier this year to celebrate National Egg Day. Oops. (We didn’t realize there was a holiday dedicated specifically to deviled eggs later in the year). Tara gave step-by-step directions on making her deviled eggs in that post, so click on the link if you’d like the recipe. They’re so good, we enjoyed them just as much in November as we did back in June!