How do you like your eggs?
Editor considers the countless wonders of the egg… and its association with Easter
There’s a lot to be said for Google. For instance, the fact that it has just told me that in Switzerland, Easter eggs are delivered by a cuckoo and in parts of Germany by a fox. It didn’t tell me why though.
It also tells me that baby rabbits are called kittens and we go big on bunnies at Easter because they have lots of young and are thus recognised as a symbol of new life – just like Jesus’s resurrection. That’s right, in secular wisdom, the resurrection – exaltation of Jesus to Christ and Lord, and foundation of the Christian faith – has been conflated with proliferant bunnies. As you do…
Less contrived is the origin of Easter eggs. Time was, the Lenten fast barred all animal products, so eggs were off the table, which is why they are used up in pancakes the day before Ash Wednesday. Eggs laid during Lent were saved up and used to break the fast, or decorated as children’s Easter gifts. From there, it is a baby bunny hop to chocolate eggs and kids marking the resurrection with the assistance of Cadbury’s.
This is a long-winded way of introducing this edition’s theme – the Easter egg. Not the chocolate one, but the fruit of the hen. I can think of no more versatile ingredient, from the simple pleasure of Lenten eve pancakes to the glory of a celebratory Easter Day pavlova.
In this edition, we offer up the egg in recipes which range from South Indian curry to Portuguese pastries, Easter cakes to chilled Russian soup. All celebrate this workaday yet miraculously multitalented ingredient which, if we were to do it justice, requires a book rather than the relatively meagre pagination of this magazine. So, hallelujah for the egg – it’s not just for Easter…