Winter 2018

The most basic of foods, a high quality pro- tein, no labels to read, gluten-free, economical, pure and uncomplicated. The simple egg. Many different species lay eggs for reproduction, but when we think of eggs, we think birds and specifically chickens. The first consumable eggs came from fowl, eaten long before recorded history, among many different cultures. They were easily gathered wherever birds made their nests. Eventually the chicken was domesticated from native fowl in Southeast Asia and India, probably before 7500 BCE. In the country of India, wild fowl were domes- ticated around 3200 B.C. followed by the Egyp- tians and Chinese who began to see the value of having fresh eggs available daily. Europe was a bit slower, with history indicating that hens showed up around 600 B.C. (Probably in France. They wanted to start making those popular omelets and mayonnaise.) Prior to chickens, wild quail eggs were frequently eaten, if one was lucky enough to find them in the woods. These days, quail eggs are considered a delicacy and not considered a part of most countries' daily cuisine. Still, Asians in particular enjoy eggs from other fowl, but Americans tend to stick with chicken eggs. By the way, there is no difference between white and brown eggs, they just come from a different variety of hens. (Not surprisingly, the French will not buy white eggs.They consider them inferior.) Egg yolk color varies according to the hens' diets. It is common to feed laying hens corn and marigold flowers to produce a golden yellow color. (Would I make that up?) When Christopher Columbus set sail to dis- cover a New World, there are indications that he had egg-laying fowl on board. And you can be sure chickens were running around on deck when the Mayflower landed in Massachusetts in 1620. Colonists used eggs as a primary ingredient in their cooking and baking, and eggs could be gath- ered daily year 'round for much-needed food. Egg Me On by DALE PHILLIP 26 | WINTER 2018 ON A MISSION