Louisiana Asks – What’s the ‘Devil’ Doing in Deviled Eggs Anyway?
I know we're not supposed to speak his name. But oddly enough it always comes up this time of year. It usually comes up right after Easter. How many of you will be within arm's length of a "deviled" egg by Sunday afternoon? Wait, that's Nick Saban. Or is it?
Eggs are about the only thing I know that you can "devil". Okay, there is that potted meat-looking stuff called deviled ham that in my mind must reek of snouts, ears, lips, and anus. If you haven't figured it out, I believe this product might be produced from some of the least expensive cuts of our friend the pig. If someone from the "deviled" ham lobby wants to correct me, I would graciously retract my opinion.
Still, this left me with a quandary, "what exactly is deviling and how do I know if I am doing it right"? What do you think the "deviling" reference refers to? When I was a kid I thought that there was a connection between Satan and my Easter Eggs. I used to not eat "deviled" eggs because I thought they had been "satanized".
Don't ask me what I mean by that, I had imaginary friends as a kid. They all grew up to be lawyers and doctors and I am stuck writing about ham treats made from anus and snout and boiled eggs.
Well here is where we learn something, the term deviling actually has a little bit to do with our old nemesis Lucifer. The term in the culinary world means to make hot with spices. That's why "deviled" eggs have things like mustard and horseradish in them to make the concoction spicy. Okay, around here we splash in some hot sauce too.
I tried to find other foods you could "devil" but eggs were by far the choice of "devilers" across the Internet. I guess you could say in Louisiana we "devil" just about everything we cook. We spice up a pork roast, cracklin', boudin, and even milk.
We just didn't know we were doing what our moms told us we shouldn't be saying. Perhaps it's a good thing we don't use the term "deviling" so free and easy. Who would actually want a "deviled" shrimp po-boy or a bowl of "deviled" gumbo? And, Yes, I would imagine any gumbo associated with the Devil would contain tomatoes.
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