by Eric Wharton
My Recipe Book, constantly being added to
Ab ova usque ad mala
(“from eggs to apples”—meaning from the beginning of a meal to the end).
— Ancient Roman Saying
Deviled eggs have a very long history. Their place as an appetizer began in ancient Rome, though not as they are today. Boiled eggs seasoned with spices were served at the beginning of meals. Sometime in the 13th century, stuffed eggs began to appear in Spain. Egg yolks mixed with spices and fermented barley or fish were stuffed into hollowed out eggs and then fastened together with a small stick.
By the 15th century, stuffed eggs had made their way across medieval Europe and reached America by the mid 19th century, through stuffed with a variety of things: raisins, cheese, herbs, etc.; often powdered with sugar and served hot. A Fannie Farmer cookbook of 1896 appears to be the first to suggest mayonnaise as a binder, though that did not become common until the 1940s.
In some parts of the world, they are still referred to as stuffed eggs, or alternatively as mimosa eggs, dressed eggs, and salad eggs. This is especially true at church functions where a dis-association with "devil" is preferred. However, the term simply means anything that includes some sort of tang or spice, such as crushed red pepper, cayenne, mustard, paprika, hot sauce, or even the zesty taste of vinegar.
8 whole eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
Cook hard-boiled eggs (refer to "How to Cook Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs" in appendix), then peel. Let cool in refrigerator, loosely covered, until cold.
Half the eggs lengthwise and scoop out yolks. Mash yolks with a fork, then mix in mayonnaise and mustard. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture, and dust tops lightly with paprika.
Return to Mason-Dixon Recipes