This article does not deal with Egg, Switzerland.

In some animals, an egg is the zygote, resulting from fertilization of the ovum, which nourishes and protects the embryo.

Reptile eggs, bird eggs, and mammalian monotreme eggs are surrounded by a protective shell, either flexible or inflexible. The study of eggs is called Oology.

Table of contents
1 Eggs in Cooking
2 Eggs as Decoration
3 Egg proverbs

Eggs in Cooking

Birds' eggs are a common food source. The most-used eggs are chicken, duck and goose, but smaller eggs such as quail eggs are occasionally used as a gourmet ingredient, as are the largest bird eggs, from Ostriches. Eggs are frequently used in both sweet and savoury dishes as a source of protein and/or to bind the other ingredients in a recipe together. Egg-yolks contain a small amount of fat and cholesterol, and people on a low-cholesterol diet may feel the need to cut down on egg consumption, though scientists are unsure of the merit of such a move. Egg-whites consist primarily of water (seven eighths) and protein (one eighth) and contain no cholesterol or fat.

The primary cooking techniques for savoury eggs are:

Eggs may also be pickled, or eaten raw, though the latter is not recommended for people who may be susceptible to salmonella, such as the old, the infirm or pregnant women.

As much has been said about the mode of preserving eggs, it may not be uninteresting to say a few words about the Chinese methods, as related by a French chemist, M. Paul Champion, who has lately visited that country, and published a very interesting book on the ancient and modern industries of that curious people. A very common method is to place the eggs in a mixture of clay and water; the clay hardens around the eggs, and is said to preserve them good for a considerable time. But another and much more elaborate method is also commonly practiced. An infusion of three pounds of tea is made in boiling water, and to this are added three pounds of quicklime (or seven pounds when the operation is performed in winter), nine pounds of sea-salt, and seven pounds of ashes of burnt oak finely powdered. This is all well mixed together into a smooth paste by means of a wooden spatula, and then each egg is covered with it by hand, gloves being worn to prevent the corrosive action of the lime on the hands. When the eggs are all covered with the mixture, they are rolled in a mass of straw ashes, and then placed in baskets with balls of rice -- boiled, we presume -- to keep the eggs from touching each other. About 100 to 150 eggs are placed in one basket. In about three months the whole becomes hardened into a crust, and then the eggs are sent to market; the retail price of such eggs is generally less than a penny each. These eggs are highly esteemed in China, and always served in good houses; but they have undergone a strange transformation, which certainly would not recommend them to English palates; the yolk has assumed a decidedly green tinge, and the white is set. When broken, they emit that unpleasant sulphurous smell which would certainly cause their instant banishment from our breakfast-tables. However, the Chinese are admitted, even by Frenchmen, to be great gourmets; and we can only say, therefore, that in questions of eating there is certainly no disputing about tastes.

Eggs as Decoration

  • Fabergé eggs are much prized collectors' items. Carl Fabergé was the favourite jeweller of many European Royal houses, including the Romanovs of Russia.

  • Easter eggs, also known as Pace eggs, are an ancient symbol of spring and the beginning of new life. They figure in egg hunts, egg rolling contests and egg-tapping.

  • Egg decorating is a craft which has become much more popular in recent years.

Egg proverbs

  • Eggs in the pan give pancakes, but nevermore chicks.
  • The egg pretends to be cleverer than the hen.
  • Never a chicken comes from broken eggs.
  • Eggs not yet laid are uncertain chickens.
  • Old eggs, old lovers and an old horse, are either rotten or for the worse.
  • Tread carefully among eggs.
  • He who wants eggs must endure the clucking of the hen.
  • One rotten egg spoils the pudding.
  • He who has many eggs scatters many shells.
  • Half an egg is worth more than all the shell.
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
  • A chicken is an egg's way of making another egg.