Last year when I celebrated National Deviled Egg Day, I didn’t realize there were so many fans of deviled eggs in the world. I thought they were a bit of antiquated food – more typical of post-war America with homemakers in aprons and men smoking pipes while reading the evening newspapers. But it turns out that Deviled Eggs still have some fans around the world and they are just as popular as ever. In fact I was surprised to see them on the actual menu at one of the concepts where I work. Apparently deviled eggs are making a comeback.
To call them a comeback would be a bit of a misnomer because deviled eggs, or stuffed eggs, have been around since the ancient days. In fact, wealthy Romans would begin their fancy meals with a course of stuffed eggs. The term Deviled Egg did not come around until the 19th century when the term was used to eggs stuffed with a spicy or hot filling. They are not associated with Satan in any way, although if you have ever seen the movie Angel Heart you would think that the devil has an affinity for hard-boiled eggs. But who doesn’t? When made properly, a nice deviled egg can bring joy to any party (unless that party is the ozone layer).
I kind of hurried through making deviled eggs tonight because I didn’t have a lot of time. Lola was visiting her sister so when I got home, I put a pot of water on and tossed in a half dozen eggs (I should say gently placed a dozen eggs into the pot). I let them come to a boil and then after about five minutes, I turned off the heat and kept them on the burner for another five minutes. Then when I felt they were ready, I dropped them into some cold water to chill. Making hard-boiled eggs is easy but so much can go wrong. Tonight however, I got it right. After they cooled, I cracked the shell on each egg carefully and peeled them. Then I sliced each egg in half and scooped out the yolks which I was glad to see were cooked all the way through. Then I added some mayonnaise to the yolks along with some spices. I used our favorites mostly – salt (lots of salt), pepper, garlic powder and some onion powder. I mixed it all up and then carefully scooped them back into the halved egg whites. I had some pre-cooked bacon in our fridge (naturally) so I heated that up so it got nice and crispy then chopped it up into bits which I sprinkled atop the eggs. My deviled eggs were done.
When Lola got home, she gave me her usual greeting for whenever I am cooking hard boiled eggs, “Why do I smell farts?” She has a very sensitive nose. I told her about the deviled eggs and then offered her one. She liked it. She wasn’t in the right spot for deviled eggs so I understood her not wanting more, but she did like them. I liked them too. They were not spicy so technically a small failure to be called deviled eggs, but they were full of flavor. The eggs were cooked perfectly – not overdone and rubbery. The stuffing came together nicely and all those spices came through in every bite. But the addition of the bacon bits was what made it notable for me. The extra savoriness added a special touch to every bite. I would be excited to be served these at any party, especially a party of two.
I guess if stuffed eggs were good for the Romans they are good for anyone. I don’t think it’s fair to pigeonhole deviled eggs into being that Eisenhower era cocktail party hors d’oeuvre. They are a delight in any era. Plus they are simple to make too and full of protein. This is a holiday well worth celebrating if just to remind me the joy of deviled eggs. I think their time has finally come (it only took 2,500 years).
Next up: National Sandwich Day
(History of Deviled Eggs from History.com)