In our opinion, not enough is made of eggs – they can make a meal in themselves or a finishing touch to another dish. They’re versatile, healthy and oh-so-delicious, which is why we thought it was high time to celebrate them in all their simplicity.
Eggs have been eaten by man since time immemorial: unlike the creatures that lay them (which have a tendency to fly or run away from hunters, gatherers and scavengers), eggs have always bee relatively
easy to get hold of. And, as was discovered by the first brave individual to crack one open, they are a rich source of protein. According to the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture
, man first domesticated birds for the purpose of laying eggs around 1400BC, though there is archaeological evidence for the consumption of eggs since Neolithic times. As the Romans marched west, they found egg-laying hens in England, Gaul and what is now Germany (the Romans themselves were fond of peafowl eggs), while domesticated egg-laying birds arrived in North America on the second voyage of Columbus in 1493.
As far as incorporating eggs into recipes goes, records show that the Romans, Egyptians and ancient Greeks all used the ingredient in various cake and bread recipes. According to Food
in History by Reay Tannahill, Egyptian nobles would feast on different kinds of bread and pastries, ‘some varieties made with honey, others with milk, still others with eggs’.
Though the consumption of eggs is widely accepted in most modern cultures, strict Hindus avoid eating eggs, as well as meat, poultry and dairy (Hinduism is, in many ways, the blueprint of modern-day veganism). The use of boiled eggs in the curry dish kedgeree is very much down the British colonialists.
Happily for Dubai residents, eggs are as widely available as anywhere in the world, and as culinary trends have now returned to more traditional, simple forms of cooking, the humble egg now takes the starring role in many dishes at top restaurants around town. Here are our picks.Hen’s egg at Table 9 by Nick and Scott
It’s difficult to choose a favourite dish at Table 9, but the hen’s egg, cepes and vinegar caramel is certainly up there with the best (there’s also an element of nostalgia to this dish – it was the first we tried at the restaurant). The oozing, deep-fried hen’s egg (crispy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside) is surrounded by invigorating, tart vinegar and mushroom. It’s so good, you’ll find yourself forgetting you’re in a smart restaurant – we ditched our manners and mopped up the runny, golden yolk as though we were eating boiled egg and toast at home.Dhs70. Hilton Dubai Creek, Deira (04 227 1111).