What’s Easter Without Eggs?
As regular myMEGusta readers know, this refers to big chocolate ovoids, uni sushi and caviar, not the things that come from chickens which do not please her at all.
But, they’re still an interesting subject, so long as myMEGusta doesn’t have to face a sunny side up thing staring at her.
There are classic egg dishes that even egg haters will love.
Think of the wonderful Japanese dish, chawan mushi. This silky smooth, steamed custard comes in a little cup, scented with mirin (a slightly sweet, low alcohol sake), dashi (Japanese fish stock) and little garnishes, like ginko nuts, mushrooms and tiny shrimp and/or fish. It tastes of Japan, not of eggs.
Sweetened custards can also be delish. Coconut custard pie is a real standout, tasting of coconut strands inside the creamy custard, with a totally different taste and texture provided by crisped coconut on the top.
Souffles would not exist if not for eggs. Properly made, they don’t taste of egg at all, rather of cheese or broccoli or chocolate or Grand Marnier, whatever. Savory souffles stand on their own, but dessert souffles often come accompanied by a sauce (perhaps a vanilla scented crème anglaise) or fresh berries plunked in the middle.
Incidentally, there is no reason to be intimidated by the idea of making a soufflé at home. You need two things: straight sided bowl (or cups) to cook it in (so it has some support as it fluffs up) well lubricated (and floured or sugared) so it won’t stick on the way up, and a good recipe that you follow to the letter (not that difficult, just not a place to experiment).
Frozen “souffles” have nothing to do with eggs. They are simply still frozen ice creams that are placed in cups with paper collars attached, stirred occasionally so that ice crystals don’t form. When it freezes solid, you remove the collar and it appears to have risen.
Back to the subject of poultry eggs, you’ll find a really interesting type in London’s Smithfield market: tiny seagull eggs. They wholesale for 3 pounds 80, and recently retailed on line for 6 pounds 50. That is $9.17 per egg. Collected by people who are specially licensed to gather them on ledges in Devon, in the southwest of England, most of them end up in gentlemen’s clubs, soft boiled with celery salt. No, myMEGusta cannot comment on what they taste like.
Another interesting travel take on eggs was in Hong Kong in the 1980s, on Egg Street, an alleyway devoted exclusively to sellers of eggs in all shapes and sizes, including embryos of various ages. MyMEGusta didn’t taste this either. Alas, time marches on, and Egg Street was razed for the construction of the wonderful escalator system which now rises up to Mid-Levels. Nearby Snake Street met the same demise.