Cracking up over deviled egg plates

I thought I’d heard every deviled egg-related question there is. I literally wrote the book about deviled eggs, to be exact, “Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipes from Simple to Sassy,” published by Harvard Common Press. So in light of that, and of the sheer number of deviled eggs I’ve eaten in my Southern life, I consider myself an expert.

Then came an email from Lynne Oliver, editor of The Food Timeline, a site devoted to food history. “One of our readers wants to know why traditional deviled-egg plates have an odd number of indentations. Might you be able to help?” Lynne wrote.

Not being sure what a “traditional deviled-egg plate” is and intrigued, I counted the indentations in the eight different deviled-egg delivery vehicles I own. My friends find them a popular gift for me, for some reason. Lo and behold, one of the plates has 15 spaces for eggs. The rest have 12. Hmmm.

Why? Assuming that one egg will be demolished in peeling? Allowing extra yolk for the filling? Or is the cook entitled to the 16th half as a snack? I favor the last reason – since I take one for myself, anyway. (The empty space? That’s what parsley is for.)

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One Response to “Cracking up over deviled egg plates”

  • Comment from Mary

    My guess is that the folks that helped you peel (or just wandered thru the kitchen) will take a few off the original amount of eggs you had. Also, hens can’t count.

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