Thursday, 7 September 2017

Egg: A gourmet's delight

I read in the North American edition of The Reader's Digest (September, 2011) that almost 7 billion eggs are consumed everyday across the world. Now the population of the world's 7 billion. It means an egg  per head is consumed everyday. It's great.


 Mind you, there're many people who don't eat eggs!!! Chefs all over the world sing paeans to the egg's amazing culinary adaptability and in the western hemisphere, almost every food item has at least an iota of egg. Though staunch vegetarians still consider it to be non veg, the omnipresence of egg is simply remarkable and the slogan like 'Sunday ho ya Monday, roz khao ande,' has increased its sale and consumption manifold. There're people, who don't eat meat but love to gorge on eggs.


 It's interesting to note that people in India had no idea of having eggs before Muslim invasions. Chicken and eggs struck Indians' culinary sensibilities rather late. These two things were religiously prohibited.  Zahiruddin Babar's autobiography 'Tuzuk-e-Babri' in Turkish has a chapter in praise of eggs and Babar was so fond of eggs that he'd consume minimum 10 eggs everyday. Once he fell ill because of excessive egg consumption and his Iranian hakim, Atmaad Laafi, who was a Zorastrian, advised him not to have eggs for at least six months.

Babar vividly described how painful those six months were sans eggs. He went to the extent of writing that a man could live without his beloved but if he was a lover of eggs like him, he wouldn't be able to live. Despite hakim's advice, he stealthily took a few eggs and nothing happened. It's worthwhile to state that Central Asian meat preparations are never complete without eggs.


To garnish a mutton, chicken or beef preparation, egg's a must. Egg softens meat preparations and also enhances the taste. Seasoned chefs unanimously agree that any meat preparation goes very well with eggs because yolk thickens the gravy and the albumen ( egg-white) lends a different kind of aroma to the cuisine, especially if it happens to be a non-vegetarian preparation.


 The entire South East Asia is extremely fond of eggs and Burmese, Mandarin (modern Chinese) and Korean have more than 1000 expressions and idioms related to eggs. Even in English, you come across phrases like, 'As sure as egg(s)' to connote ' surety and certainty', 'egghead' (intellectual) and 'egg someone on' to mean 'exhort,' 'inspire' or 'urge.'

Though there're eggless cakes for vegan but it's said that an eggless cake never tastes as good as the one having eggs because egg helps ferment it well and also softens it. It helps in the baking process. The most beautiful facet of egg's that all its preparations whether omelette, scrambled, French toast, poach or plain bolied egg, are devoured by gourmets and gourmands. And it's pretty easy to cook as well unlike mutton, chicken, pork and beef. So go and have an egg!!!!      
 



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