Ode to the Egg


“Oh milky white egg, spew forth your glorious white …” nevermind. I can’t write an ode to the egg without some hint of vulgarity. Anyway, have you seen such a nice eggie? Some excerpts from the Oxford Book of Food Writing: a genre I can never fathom because the tired descriptors of food just being “nice lor” is all I can think of:

“In English the word egg is something to cup in one’s palm. On the page, the extra g, like a linguistic wink, lends the word the same oblong shape as the thing itself. Egg nestles against the curve of the tongue.

In its shell it is all smoothness and balance. Next to it, other kinds of beauty seem bony and embellished… Yet the egg lends its beauty generously—witness the way egg tempera allows itself to be saturated with color; the chalky aura that bathes a Vermeer, as though the painter has cast his light through a broken shell.

The love of eggs is a love for the tiny and tender—pinkie-sized squash, potatoes like marbles, three-week-old chickens, skinny-limbed lambs and calves—but taken one step backwards.”


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