Introduction to Eggs
Since the beginning of time, eggs have been part of our way of life as food and as religious
offering to the deities.
Vikings in North Europe in Egypt and in South Africa, from the Columns
of Hercules to the Asian continent, including Babylonians, Persians,
Armenians, Jews, Germans, Greeks and Romans offered eggs to their gods to gain
their support and blessings to the land and to the seeds planted in the ground and to the goddesses of fertility
to favor for new life to come into their families.
An egg is one of the components of a traditional Seder plate, a traditional centerpiece of the
In Sicily, eggs (a pagan symbol of fertility) are now offered to the children on Holy Saturday
imbedded into bread, called “pupu cu l’ova” puppet with eggs; In
Italy and in the Western world, colored and chocolate eggs, the symbol of Easter are presented to family and
laid by many species the most popular eggs consumed by humans at the present are chicken eggs. Fish eggs called
also roe are processed into caviar or other specialties according to the region or country of
The sturgeon eggs become black caviar, red caviar is made from the salmon roe, and so gourmands
can taste infinity of roe specialties from all parts of the world.
In Sicilythe tuna roe the
bottarda or “ova ri tunnu”
is salted and dried, and it is served with olive oil and lemon as an exceptional appetizer, or use as pasta
dressing grated into a mixture of olive oil, chopped parsley and a hint of lemon.
The roe of the “ricci”, sea urchin, in Sicilian called “rizzi”, have a taste that it is unforgettable delightful. In Palermo the
best sea urchins are found at the sea shore of Sferracavallo; the “ricci “ are consumed raw from the shell
using a small piece of bread or with a small spoon or as a condiment for
The common chicken eggs are used in all phases of food preparation and by themselves for
breakfast, as appetizer, in pasta preparation as condiment as entrée and for dessert.
We will not give any recipe for hard boiled eggs to cook in boiling water for about 15 minutes
or soft boiled for about 5 minutes.
Also the simple scrambled eggs are easily made by whisking the eggs thinned down with 1
tablespoon of milk or cream for each egg and cook in a skillet at medium heat.
In Italy, another common way
to use eggs is in the frittata which is served as snack, dessert or as a
The frittata is one of the most subdued and unpretentious dishes; this simple, modest yet
nutritious and tasty plate is prepared in all Italian regions.
In Sicily it is very
popular especially in the hinterland, where eggs are available in abundance and because it is an easy and cheap
source of protein and vitamins.
To make a frittata is necessary a skillet and heat, ovens are not needed because frittata means
that it is fried food; usually to every 2 eggs add 1 tablespoon of grated cheese and ½ tablespoon of
breadcrumbs, also salt, pepper and discretionary herb(s); if any other ingredient(s) is added, it must be
pre-cooked and folded into the eggs mixture before frying, not filled inside, as it is done when stuffing
To make things easer, there is no recipe or set rules for this preparation and anyone can use
their inventiveness and add any spices, condiments and ingredients to make a successful dish….almost all the
The lack of rules gives flexibility to this preparation and the option to add to the basic mix
from meats to fish, and vegetables, cold cut, or to utilize and recycle leftover food, it makes possible to
create some original and delicious frittate that can be served as appetizers, main courses, or as a light
meal and as merenda for the children’s afternoon snack.