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 Passover meal. 

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 friends. 

 

 

Eggs are 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 origin. 

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 pasta. 

 

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 meal. 

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 omelets.  

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 times.  

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.