Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Egg

What is the world’s most perfect food?  Cheese, bread and beer all run pretty high on the list for me.  Their simplicity, complexity, variety and sheer joy I get from them far exceed almost all other foods.  But the egg?  Now that is a perfect food.

Consider that it is produced naturally and comes in its own biodegradable container.  Consider the variety….quail eggs are petite, ostrich eggs are gigantic, and they’re all edible.   Look at the sheer beauty and simplicity.  Slightly white translucence contrasts against the golden brightness of a yolk. 

There are fruits and vegetables that could challenge the egg for aesthetic beauty and design, but what of versatility?  An egg could be eaten raw if you are careful of its sourcing. (But I am not encouraging that – that’s my legal disclaimer) It can cook quickly and become sticky and creamy as in carbonara.  An egg can be fried sunny-side up to create a wonderful contrast between opaque white and golden yolk.  It can be flipped while frying to create a white disk centered by only a hint of gold.  Scrambled and you have golden happiness.  Boil an egg for 7 minutes and get a beautiful, creamy soft one, or go a few minutes longer and see it hard-boiled and get something you can put aside until you need it.  You mix an egg with flour and it will help cakes puff up.  Mix it with cream and some veggies and get an omelet.  Mix it with mayo and make a sandwich.   Poach it for clean, stark whiteness and golden deliciousness.  Eggs are amazing!

What about texture?  An egg can go from sensuous creaminess to slice-able firmness in minutes.  Compare a soft-boiled egg to a whipped egg for scrambling to one used for sushi.  That’s the same natural resource!        

What food has greater historical, cultural, even biological significance?  Why Easter eggs?  Eggs are symbols of birth and fertility.  What is spring but a time of rebirth and fertility, and Easter is ultimately a spring ritual repeated in various forms by faiths and cultures the world over.

So as you gorge yourself on eggs today or anytime this spring, consider this amazing gift from nature as the ultimate packaged food. 

I hope your yolks look like sunshine today.
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