Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Deviled eggs and a lost word


Deviled eggs are also known as eggs mimosa in Europe.  They originated in ancient Rome and consist of boiled eggs cut in half and filled with the yolk usually mixed with mayonnaise, mustard and pepper.  Russian eggs are the same with the addition of caviar to the yolk mixture.  Deviled eggs are popular during spring holiday in the U.S. and Europe, and during the summer in southern U.S. where they are renamed ‘dressed’ or ‘salad’ eggs in an effort to avoid the use of the word ‘devil’

The term ‘Deviled’ dates back to the 19th century to mean an item that is Piquant.  Piquant or piquance is the sensation associated with the taste that is a reaction of the chemicals piperine and/or capsaicin which cause a burning sensation induced by both a taste sensation as well as one that actually raises the temperature of the tissue in the area of skin that comes in contact with such piperine or capsaicin.  This is believed to be associated thru evolution due to the body’s reaction to similar substances present with microbial pathogens.  That is a side note. 

Piquant is a great word!  A short etymological tour thru French, Spanish, and Portuguese and we result in a word that solely sums up the two words we now use, “spicy hot”.  In the past ‘Hot’ has been used with relation to temperature… as in degrees Fahrenheit.  Also ‘spicy’ has been used to describe something that is spiced…. as in a spiced apple pie.  The word ‘piquant’ is used independent of those to describe the sensation as described in the previous paragraph.

Hot chocolate would be chocolate that is over 100 degrees

Hot spicy chocolate would be chocolate that is over 100 degrees and has cinnamon and nutmeg.

Piquant spicy hot chocolate would be chocolate that over 100 degrees and has cinnamon and nutmeg as well as a chipotle chili.

Why did we stop using that word?

2 comments:

Richie said...

Hey Mikey, this blog is boring as fuck. Just thought id come over here and leave a comment being an asshole to return the favor for the one you left on my Chow piece. Eat a dick.

Beata said...

Oh, I actually was going to post how I hoped the blogger would resume his duties as I very much enjoyed the 'piquant' post.