There is a golden rule when entertaining, particularly for small gatherings – that we cook to suit the tastes of our invited family and friends and not exclusively to our likes. While there are certain things that we can comfortably cook in ways that people generally enjoy them, there are some foods that should always be cooked to the preference of the person we are cooking for. Eggs are one of those foods that should always be cooked to the preference of the person for whom it is intended.
MOM: How are you cooking the eggs?
MOM: Oh… (Voice trails off)
ME: You don’t want the eggs fried?
MOM: (Laughs nervously and says with hesitation) Well l like fried eggs as
long as the eggs are actually cooked! I know you like sunny side eggs.
I laughed so hard. You had to be there. Mommy was trying to strike a balance between being polite and firm. What I felt bad about is that my mother felt she had to be justifying how she wanted her eggs cooked.
Though enjoyed by many, eggs are disliked by a lot of people. Some people can only consume eggs when they are mixed into dough and batters, they cannot eat eggs on their own regardless of how they are prepared.
There are many ways in which eggs are cooked that range from them being fully cooked to varying degrees of semi-cooking. Poached, nested, baked, over easy, over medium, over hard, sunny-side up, soft scrambled, hard scrambled, soft boiled, hard boiled, omelets and frittatas are among the more popular ways of preparing eggs.
Regardless of how you like your eggs, if they are to be consumed without being fully cooked, you should always ensure that the eggs are the freshest they can be. And for these types of preparation always opt for local eggs rather than eggs that have travelled very long distances. There is a bacterium called salmonella that can be found in eggs, so there is an absolute need for eggs to be handled properly from purchase to storage to cooking. Select eggs without cracks and keep eggs refrigerated until they are ready to be used. Of course practicing proper hygiene in the kitchen is key to food safety. Using clean utensils, sanitizing work surfaces, avoiding cross contamination between cooked and raw foods and the storage of food in general. Fully cooking eggs removes any bacteria from the eggs; however, lightly cooked egg whites and yolks pose a risk of salmonella and this is why it is important to know where your eggs come from and that they are fresh.
So the next time you are ready to cook up eggs for someone other than yourself, be sure to ask, “How would you like your eggs?”