The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat eggs. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.
What eggs etiquette is
Eggs etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat eggs. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow eggs etiquette to serve them to your guests appropriately.
If you are a guest, respect eggs etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy them.
The most commonly eaten eggs are from chicken or other poultry, such as quail and duck.
Etiquette rules to serve and eat eggs
1) How to store eggs
It is best to store eggs in the fridge, unwashed. They should last around 3 weeks.
Do not store eggs outside the fridge. In several countries, such as the USA, eggs are washed before selling. Washed eggs do not last outside the fridge. In European countries, eggs in commerce are usually unwashed. Hence, it is possible to find them stored outside the fridge.
Do not freeze eggs in their shell. You can freeze the whites and the yolks. Beat them together, then freeze. They can last up to 4 months.
Store cooked eggs in the fridge. Hard-boiled eggs can last up to 1 week. Egg dishes can last up to 3-4 days.
Never leave cooked eggs or egg dishes out of the refrigerator for more than 1 or 2 hours.
2) How to wash eggs
You do not need to wash eggs. If they are soiled, you can rinse them in running water. Water at room temperature is best. Cook them immediately after washing.
3) How to prepare & cook eggs
Before cooking, test if an egg is fresh. Put the egg in a bowl full of water. If the egg sinks, it is fresh. If it floats, discard the egg. Alternatively, crack the egg. If it smells odd, discard it.
Cook eggs at least at 55°C (130°F) to avoid the risk of Salmonella bacteria.
There are several ways to cook eggs. Fry, hard boil, scramble, or poach. You can use eggs as an ingredient in several recipes. Such as frittata, tortilla, omelette, soufflé, pancake, pies, or sauces.
4) How to serve & present eggs
Serve cooked eggs and egg dishes immediately after cooking. Alternatively, reheat them thoroughly.
You can serve hard-boiled eggs whole, in their shell. Small poultry eggs, such as quails or gulls, are usually served hard-boiled in their shell.
Accompany boiled or poached eggs with bread, salt, and other condiments such as sauce.
Several diets exclude eggs. Vegans do not eat eggs. Some vegetarians do, others do not. Similarly, some religions forbid eggs too.
You can serve eggs for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. Fried and scrambled eggs are most appropriate for informal meals. You can serve them on a formal occasion as a complement to superior food, such as truffles.
5) Foods and beverages to pair eggs with
Eggs go well with sausage or cured meat. Cured fish such as smoked salmon, or caviar. Cheese such as Parmigiano or goat cheese.
Pair eggs with almost every vegetable. Artichoke, asparagus, aubergines, beans, legumes, potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, or truffles.
Eggs are unusual with pizza and pasta. The exception is the pasta Carbonara recipe.
Eggs do not pair well with chicken, poultry, beef, or fish.
You can pair eggs with sparkling wine, such as Champagne or Prosecco. White wine such as Sauvignon Blanc. Light-bodied red wine, such as Beaujolais or unoaked Pinot Noir.
6) How to eat eggs
Eat fried eggs with a fork.
When hard-boiled eggs are served whole, break the shell. Tick the top and the bottom of the egg with a spoon or a knife. Then, peel off the shell with your fingers. Eat the egg with a fork.
To eat soft-boiled eggs (à la coque), remove the top of the shell. Tick the shell with a spoon or a knife in a circle around the top. Then, remove the top section of the shell. Eat the egg with a small spoon.
Small poultry eggs, such as quails or gulls, are usually served hard-boiled in their shell. Loosen the shell by gently pressing it with your fingers. Then peel off the shell with your fingers. Dip the egg into salt or a condiment. Then, eat it whole with your fingers.
Eggs etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst eggs etiquette mistakes.
- 9/10. Serving eggs half-cooked.
- 4/10. Serving fried or scrambled eggs on formal occasions.
- 4/10. Pairing eggs with the wrong flavors.
Additional information for properly serving eggs
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.
The calories in a chicken egg depend on the cooking method. One egg contains about 71 calories poached, 78 boiled, and 90 fried or scrambled.
Chicken eggs are high in cholesterol. Several sources recommend eating no more than 5 or 6 eggs per week.
How to buy the best eggs
A crucial factor in eggs etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.
Season and availability
Eggs are available daily.
Choose the best
The size, grade, and shell color of an egg usually are not indications of its quality. Instead, check how the hen laid the egg. Organic eggs are of the best quality. Eggs from caged birds are the cheapest and lowest in quality. Free-range and barn are mid-range.
Always check the expiration date. Never buy cracked or broken eggs.