Monday, December 23, 2013

Irish country buttered eggs

A fantastic process and one that's practically unheard of in the states is buttered eggs. It is a traditional way of preserving eggs for the short term in Ireland and it was probably invented in the 19 century. In the 1850s Ireland was exporting more than 12 million eggs to Britain and by 1900 that number had exploded to 45 million. A comfort food in southern Ireland and in other rural parts of Ireland as well they are very popular in Cork and can be often found in the markets around Cork city. Buttered eggs yield a fantastic texture and flavor that's not found in regular eggs.
The most important step in making traditional buttered eggs is that the eggs must be collected from the nest fresh, as soon as they are laid. The porous and still warm shells are rubbed with a thin coat of butter which seals in the freshness and the flavor. The albumen stays soft and curdy when poached or boiled. Lard can also be used for this process and I can attest that eggs can last for months when stored like this. I store them at room temperature but you can also increased the longevity of them by refrigerating them. I was often told in America that you can preserve eggs by storing them in sand or sawdust both of those experiments produced foul results. I am now forever sold on buttered eggs especially when, like some of you, you see your eggs decrease come the depths of winter. A great way to help preserve your harvest and a useful tool for the local homesteader anywhere. 





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