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Why You Should Be Adding Butter To Your Hard-Boiled Eggs

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Channel: Mashed
Categories: Cooking   |   Fine Arts  
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Eggs may be the most versatile food in the kitchen. How to prepare them? Let us count the ways. All kinds of ingredients, when added to scrambled eggs, can boost their flavor profile, everything from orange juice to peanut butter. As for hard-boiled eggs, you can gut the yolk, mix in some mayonnaise, mustard, and other stuff, and enjoy the magic that is deviled eggs. But there's another, super-easy way to liven up your hard-boiled egg that can be explained using only one word: butter.

Melissa Clark, award-winning food writer for The New York Times, didn't feel a need to devote an entire column to the topic, merely an Instagram post, but she created a buzz in food circles with her shoutout to buttered eggs. She wrote in the caption:

"Why are buttered eggs not a THING?? They should be!"

She recommended boiling the eggs for five minutes, which leaves the yolk a gooey, medium-soft. A little salt and pepper, perhaps? For Clark, that wouldn't be your Morton iodized and McCormick ground black pepper. She ate her buttered egg with Maldon sea salt flakes and stone-ground Urfa chili peppers from Turkey, thank you very much. But you too can get a similar result with less specialized ingredients.

If buttered eggs are becoming a thing, then they are also getting a little backlash. Is it overkill? Maybe. Egg yolks are rich, and butter is even richer. So how are these two things supposed to complement each other? Well, we already know the two flavors go together. Who hasn't wiped up the dregs of their egg with some buttery toast? What about eggs Benedict? That beloved brunch staple features a poached egg covered in a sauce that is little more than egg yolk and butter mixed together.

And what about cake? That's just eggs and butter baked in flour, with added sugar.

A scientific explanation of why buttered eggs taste so good isn't as easy as it might sound. This is because the science of taste is less advanced than the science of black holes. At least NASA knows what a black hole is, and where to find them. Taste, it turns out, is a little more elusive. As behavioral geneticist Michael Tordoff told Live Science:

"There is no accepted definition of a basic taste. The rules are changing as we speak."

Recent research suggests that fat, a big part of the butter and egg experience, might be a sixth flavor. Remember that not too long ago, we added umami as a fifth flavor, alongside sweet, bitter, sour, and salty, and when it comes to different personal preferences, that's a whole other thing.

"Put the Peeps in the chili pot and add the M&Ms, put the Peeps in the chili pot and it makes it tastebad"

That might be part of the mystery, and while it's difficult to understand scientifically how taste works, it's just as tricky trying to describe what butter or eggs taste like. Go ahead, try it and see if you can do better than users on Reddit who were asked to describe the taste of an egg. A lot of them couldn't come up with anything other than "eggy."

The same goes for butter. When Vice profiled a chef who made it his mission to create the most flavorful butter on earth, they declared it "the butteriest butter" they'd ever eaten.

The American Egg Board, which came up with the famous "incredible, edible egg" slogan, couldn't say anything better than "mild or bland" to describe egg flavor. The Egg Board did have nicer things to say about the egg's ability to enhance and carry flavors, particularly through the fat in the yolk. Butter, meanwhile, is so good at boosting flavor and texture that restaurants lay it on thick in just about everything.

So, while scientists someday may explain why two great tastes also taste great together, for now, we'll just have to appreciate the magic that is fat. Samin Nosrat, the author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, sings its praises in the Netflix series based on her book. She says:

"Fat: It's nothing short of a miracle. Fat adds its own unique flavor to a dish, and it can amplify the other flavors in a of the most important things any cook can learn is how to harness its magic."

Watch the video to see why you should be adding butter to your hard-boiled eggs!

#Eggs #HardboiledEggs #EggHacks

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