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Eat this Word: Deviled Eggs

Anya Hoffman

Anya Hoffman

October 21, 2009


Deviled eggs

WHAT? Proustian picnic food. An American adaptation of a dish that has been eaten throughout Europe since Roman times, deviled eggs are beloved throughout the South and Midwest. Named for the fiery seasonings that give the dish its signature kick, the savory snack is the topic of rapturous remembrance on the Southern Foodways website. "Deviled eggs go down with surreptitious ease," waxed Richard A. Brooks on the site, "smooth and creamy, deceptively innocuous with all that hard-boiled whiteness topped by a relatively small dollop of yellow yolk and mysterious, secret flavorings." Though the preparation of the dish is simple—hard-boil eggs, mix the yolks with a creamy dip, season generously, and pipe into the halved egg whites—the relative merits of each family's deviled egg recipe can be endlessly debated. Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip? Dry mustard or French's? Cayenne or paprika? In their 2007 JBF Cookbook of the Year, The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook, Matt Lee and Ted Lee top the iconic hors d'oeuvre with crispy bacon and thin-sliced green onions. Emeril Lagasse makes a version with chipotle in adobo; Mark Bittman perks up the dish with chopped shrimp. And Andrew Engle of the Laundry Restaurant gives the addictive appetizers the ultimate twist by deviling pickled eggs.

WHO? Suvir Saran, Hemant Mathur, and Joshua Thomas's Beard House dinner

WHEN? Saturday, October 24, 2009

HOW? American Masala Farm Deviled Eggs with Tomato Chutney