Eggs (two recipes)

Eggs are good for you

Second only to meat when it comes to culinary diversity are eggs. This excellent foodstuff full of nourishment holds benefits for the healthy and sick, rich and poor alike.

Fresh eggs soothe soreness of the chest; old ones are liable to upset those of a choleric or nervous temperament. To find out whether eggs are fresh, hold them up to the light: if they are clear and transparent, this is a good sign. If they look spotty, put them with the old eggs, and if they have a mark attached to the shell, this indicates that they are no good. The yolk of a fresh egg mixed into some hot water with a little sugar and drunk while lying down is good for people with a cold; this medicinal eggnog is called “lait de poule” (hen's milk) by the French.

As the supply of eggs to a household was a major resource, and since they were expensive in the winter, those running the household who kept poultry had to collect eggs for the winter in between 15 August and 8 December. For this purpose, store them in a place which is neither too hot nor too cold, the cellar is good as long as it is completely dry. Put them in a barrel full of straw in summer; in winter, store them in hay. Some people use sawdust, stubble or ash.

Eugène Ardant, La cuisinière des cuisinières, de la ville et de la campagne, Limoges : 1867

Period Recipe

Eggs and bacon French-styleSide dish ("entremets") Take a good chunk of fat streaky bacon and cut it into thin small slices; put these into a saucepan over a low heat and cook through. Keep stirring them and when done turn out onto a serving dish with two tablespoons of the meat juices. Break seven or eight eggs into a pan, add the bacon slices, coarse-ground pepper, a pinch of salt and cook over a low heat. Use a salamander* to set the tops. Serve half-runny.* a salamander ("pelle rouge") is a round cast-iron utensil on a long handle, which is heated over a flame until red-hot, then held over the surface of a dish for a few moments to brown it without overcooking the rest of the dish Baked eggs family-styleStarter or side dish ("hors d'oeuvre" or "entrements") Spread a knife's width of butter on the base of the serving dish and cover with thin slices of white bread and little slices of Gruyère cheese, then break in eight to ten eggs, season with a little salt, nutmeg, ground pepper and bake in a slow oven.

Bon appetit


Type of Recipe