A Teddy Allen Classic
(Editor’s Note: In light of the new year’s eye-popping egg prices, we go back to 2012 to explain, in this timeless salute to something both incredible and edible, why we are not chicken to pay whatever price is necessary for this fabulous food.)
I am the shell of a man.
That’s because my insides are mostly eggs.
And that goes for you and you. And you too.
Break us and we bleed yellow.
You don’t think so? I beg to differ. Hang with me and I’ll prove that not since Dean Martin has something been so versatile, so good, and yet, despite a fair amount of fame, still so underappreciated.
Seriously, did somebody say something about an egg? If you did, I’m listening. Eggs get my attention. Were it not for eggs, the world would be a much less happy, less tasteful and less interesting place. What kind of question is “Which came first, the chicken or the … other chicken?”
See? You almost GOTTA have eggs!
I am so proud that after 35 years, the Egg People — that wonderful group of egg enthusiasts who tout this white-shelled miracle of nature — have brought back the jingle originated in 1977, “The Incredible Edible Egg.” Listen for it. The song is updated in both style and lyrics, but the message remains the same: Eggs Rock!
Think of how deeply this tiny food has embedded itself into our culture. There are eggs in cakes, in pie crusts, in brownies, in egg salad and in breads. Eggs help to hold the crust onto its first cousin, the chicken. (Maybe instead of “first cousin” it should be “mother once removed.”)
Eggs are in cookies and creams, in fried rice, and in demand. That’s why the United States production of 75 billion eggs a year is an impressive yet big-picture moderate 10 percent of the world’s supply.
We are an egg society.
Think of this food’s adaptability, if you will. It can be boiled and poached and scrambled and fried. And that’s just at breakfast! What a wonderful thing to wake up to.
It can be served sunny side up, over easy, yellow hard, yellow runny. Omelet, you say? Fine!
It can even be split into either yellow or white. How many everyday foods offer you TWO colors in such a small package? The egg is the fruit of the barnyard.
I could rest my case. But I won’t. Because not only is the egg versatile, it’s good for you. You’ve got 13 essential nutrients in a single egg, the egg publicists tell me, which might be a lie but hey, I’m buying it!, because they know I can’t tell a nutrient from a nutria. But I did grow up around chicken snakes, and not once did I see a sick one.
A large egg contains just 70 calories and has six grams of protein. My sources tell me that this is another “plus” in the “healthy food” column. In other words, an egg as a food is a “good egg.”
See? The word even lends itself to playfulness. You can be a good egg or a bad egg. Some people are egg heads. Some have egg on their face. Or a goose egg on their forehead. Some people put all their eggs in one basket, walk on egg shells, lay an egg, egg others on or protect their nest egg.
“Last one in’s a rotten egg!”
It’s a beautiful word, a beautiful food, and you’ll likely enjoy one today, even if it’s disguised in another food. Which is another reason to love the egg: it’s a simple food of delightful complexity. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Mystery is the egg’s “coop” de gras.