December 26, 2012

Egg-Static: Why Eggs Are The Perfect Food

I love eggs. I love how they look, how versatile they are, and how absolutely delicious they taste. Eggs are quite possibly my favorite food of all. I love salad and ice cream as well as fruits and veggies, but the egg tops even all of those. I just love eggs.

Let’s start with how they look. Their oval and almost oblong shape, small at the top and wide at the bottom, just seems like the perfect outline for this food. Not only does the physical look appeal to me when they are not cooked, when they are, my stomach just starts grumbling. Few foods excite my taste buds as much as seeing an egg whether scrambled, fried, boiled, deviled, or otherwise. Their nice sunny color is happy.  Everything about the way an egg looks is appetizing.

Beyond for eating, the way an egg looks is fun for decorating. At Easter, children nationwide dip eggs in dye to color them or even use markers to draw all over them. Eggs can even be used for Christmas tree ornaments, household decorations, or for art projects. Their look appeases not only the appetite but also the aesthetic.

As a food, eggs are incredibly versatile. Eggs can be eaten by themselves, with other dishes, as a complement to recipes, or as a necessity for recipes. When eaten alone, eggs can be cooked several ways.

The first great way is scrambled. By adding just a little bit of milk, salt, and pepper and whisking the egg, one can create a dish that is simple yet tasty. This is possibly one of the easiest dishes to prepare. Once the egg is whisked, just pour it into a pan over low heat on the stove. Stir the egg pretty regularly for three to five minutes and the scrambled egg will fluff up. Adding some veggies or cheese can really create a well-rounded and yummy meal.

Of course, if scrambled isn’t appealing, one can always cook the eggs by frying them. Instead of whisking ahead of time, just crack the egg and drop it into a pan. I usually prep the pan by heating up some olive oil first so that it’s easy for me to flip the fried egg. What’s great about frying eggs is one can have the yolk runny, a little firm but still gooey, or even hard. Fried eggs can really be made to personal taste. In this way, one can really taste the whites of the egg. So much focus is put on the yolk, but the whites can be just as delightful.

The third way to eat eggs alone is boiled. One can soft boil or hard boil an egg and eat it as the protein in a meal. Boiling an egg makes the whites and yolk harden in ways that really distinguish their flavors. I always like to add a little bit of salt and pepper and sometimes even mustard. Boiled eggs are a perfect and easy breakfast treat because one can boil and then peel enough eggs for the work week on Sunday and just grab the egg and go. Perfect.

Eating eggs alone as the main dish is great, but adding other dishes contributes wonderful flavors. Take the boiled egg, for instance. Slicing a boiled egg and adding it to salad is simply divine. It takes two of my favorite foods and puts them together. Delicious!

Scrambled and fried eggs go good with other breakfast foods but also with non-traditional foods, too. A fried egg with some cheese and veggies on a pizza crust can be cooked to perfection for a great pizza meal.

Having egg dishes as a side is always a good choice. The deviled egg is possibly my favorite side dish or finger food of all.

And, of course, many food recipes are made better simply by adding an egg. Though one can back a cake without an egg, adding the egg lightens the cake dough and makes it fluffier. A pecan pie is just a runny mess without eggs. Creamed corn only gets better when making it a casserole with eggs. Soufflé, quiche, and other dishes have such incredible flavors that they make great meals or great sides. The egg makes these dishes so incredible and edible.

Eggs look great, are versatile, and they taste simply divine. Alone, in dishes, or part of a recipe, eggs quite simply make foods and meals better. They have protein and nutrients necessary for a healthy diet. Of course, they do have cholesterol, so watching how much one eats and balancing eggs with grains and fruits and veggies are necessary to balanced eating. Despite the cholesterol, eggs still win as a perfect food.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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