June 3rd Is National Egg Day

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Oh, who cares! June 3rd is National Egg Day and that’s all that matters.

Did you know that eggs have been consumed by humans since the beginning of human life?

While there are accounts of ancient civilizations in Britain, China, Germany, and Rome domesticating female birds for egg consumption, the first actual documentation comes from India in the year 3200 BC. The Egyptians and Romans are believed by food historians to be the first group of people to use eggs as a thickening agent or binding ingredient in their recipes.

The history of National Egg Day goes back to the reign of Claudius Nero Germanicus, who was emperor from 41 to 54 A.D., the third emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

In the early part of the millennium there was a severe poultry plague that devastated Europe, causing a great fear of consuming chickens and their eggs. Three years after the plague began Claudius Nero Germanicus challenged his noblemen to eat eggs, thus proving to the peasants that it was again safe to eat poultry and eggs.

The only person to accept the challenge was Augustus Antonius, who invited people from far and wide to watch him eat some boiled eggs. When he showed no ill effects from consuming the commonly-feared food, the Roman people once again embraced poultry and eggs.

This resulted in Claudius Nero Germanicus issuing a royal proclamation dedicating the third day of June as the Holy Roman Day of Eggs.

For more than 500 years the holiday was celebrated, until the reign of Justinian.

In 1805 the holiday resurfaced during Napoleon’s rule after the capture of historical documents in Italy relating to the Holy Roman Empire. Napoleon was intrigued by the fact that Roman emperors loved the egg so much, and he didn’t want to be upstaged by them, so he declared June 3rd as “Oeuf Journée Nationale” or, “National Egg Day.”

The day has remained as a food holiday in western society ever since.

2012 national egg day

Not only are eggs a versatile food and taste great, they’re also great for you. A medium egg has 4 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and 63 calories per serving. Eggs are, however, high in Cholesterol; with 186 mg per serving – which is about 60% of the suggested cholesterol intake for the average person per day.

The chef’s hat, called a toque, is said to have a pleat for each of the many ways you can cook eggs. Beyond basic scrambled, fried, poached and baked eggs, you can cook eggs in the shell and turn them into omelets, frittatas, quiches and strata casseroles. In baking, eggs are used in cakes and cheesecakes, cookies, both stirred and baked custards, hard and soft meringues, pie fillings, soufflés and even pastries, such as cream puffs and eclairs. [source]

A Few Fun Facts About Eggs:

– The most common bird eggs eaten around the world come from chickens; followed closely by ostrich eggs.

– Quail eggs are considered a delicacy in many countries around the world.

– In ancient China eggs were stored up to several years by immersing them in a variety of mixtures including salt and wet clay, cooked rich, salt and lime, or salt and wood ashes mixed with a tea infusion.

– Although they are usually tossed, the egg shell is in fact edible.

– The U.S. produces about 75 billion eggs a year, making up about 10% of the world’s egg supply.

– About 60% of U.S. produced eggs are used by consumers, and 9% are used by the foodservice industry. The rest are turned into egg products such as mayonnaise and pre-made meals.

– Egg size and grade are not related to each other. Size is determined by weight per dozen, while Grade refers to the quality of the shell, the egg yolk and white, as well as the size of the air cell.

While the folks at Mullins Farms love eggs in pretty much any fashion, one of our favorite recipes is for Deviled Eggs:

12 eggs, hard boiled
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp prepared mustard (can use ~ 1 tsp dry mustard instead)
¼ cup pickle relish (can substitute 6 strips bacon fried/crumbled and add more mayo if too thick)
A few drops of hot sauce
Salt to taste (~1/4 tsp?)
Pepper to taste (~1/4 tsp?)
2 Tbsp chopped chives (not necessary)
Paprika (sprinkle on top of eggs for decoration)

Some tips:

Place eggs on side (put rubber band on carton to keep lid closed and put carton on its side) and leave at room temperature the night before boiling to get yolk in the center. I also find that getting the eggs to room temp before boiling makes the eggs easier to peel.

Put eggs in a pan (no more than 12), add cold water to cover about an inch and bring to a boil for a minute. Turn off heat and leave pan with cover on for 15 minutes. Drain water and add cold water and ice cubes to cool eggs for about 1 hour before peeling.

You can also add some salt to the water to keep eggs from oozing out of shell when boiling.

Do you have a favorite egg recipe? We’d love for you to share it in the comments section below.

Happy National Egg Day!

national egg day 2012

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