Episode #4 of the course “Superfoods you should know about”
Although most types of female birds lay eggs, the most common type of egg in the United States is the chicken’s egg. Domesticated chickens have been kept as a food source (for both meat and eggs) for over 10,000 years, but other birds have also been kept for the same purposes. Other birds’ eggs often served in cuisine around the world include the eggs of ducks, ostrich, quail, guineafowl, and seagulls.
Eggs are a rich source of natural protein and are generally served cooked or in baked goods. They take on various textures depending on the method of cooking, and they can serve as virtually anything—from the base of soups to an air-fluffed, sweetened meringue. They can be boiled in the shell to a variety of textures and are often combined into salad, casseroles, or stews once boiled. Boiled eggs can also be pickled. Of course, eggs can be cooked and served alone too, either as a whole combination of the yolk and the egg white or simply as one part or the other alone.
Although bird eggs are the most commonly used, other animals lay eggs that people around the world often eat. Fish eggs are a delicacy well-known as caviar, which is generally served as a side dish to a larger meal. Some caviar can cost hundreds of dollars per pound, and harvesting it has led to the endangerment of some types of fish.
Reptile eggs—including the eggs of snakes, alligators, and lizards—are also considered a delicacy in some parts of the world. In very extreme climates like the Australian Outback, these eggs may be one of the rare sources of protein for the people who live there; here, reptile eggs may be highly coveted or bargained for a high price.
“Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient” by Michael Ruhlman
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