That would be me, Mrs. Moglie. Married to a native Italian, Mr. Marito.
Mother to a daughter in high school, Ms. SmartyPants and a son in middle school, Mr. Uometto.
Employed at a private British School as an English teacher and Coordinator of Children's Studies.
Part of a small, but growing Protestant church in Frascati, a small town in the hills just outside of Rome.

This is where I sometimes gripe, complain and grumble about the things I dislike, have yet to get used to or simply don't understand about bella Italia.
I do, however, have many people, places and things that I dearly love and I am more than aware of being blessed by each and every one of them.
Also - a few helpful posts for visitors to Rome or for newly arrived ex pats. Check the side bar for tags. I've even some recipes that I've borrowed, tweaked or invented. One thing I've come to love about Italy is how it's changed the way I eat - slow food !! Although ... I do miss Taco Bell ... and Jack in The Box ... and KFC ... and ::sigh::
Thanks for stopping by !!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

White Eggs or Brown Eggs - What's Important Is That They're Unfertilized

I know we have brown eggs back home in California - I've seen them at the Farmer's Market in old Monterey and I had occasionally seen them at Safeway, too. But I think white eggs are the most well known in the USA. Here, in Italy - well, in Rome at least, it's the exact opposite. Only brown eggs are sold in supermarkets and in negozi di alimentari (small grocery stores). White eggs are found at the the large market in Rome's center. 

White or brown, it's all the same to me, really. There's no difference to the eggs besides shell color. Here's a good web page that explains the whole white egg vs. brown egg question. It's a simple matter of hen breed, that's all. 

What surprised me was not so much the color, but the level of ... hmm ... how can I say this delicately? The level of cleanliness. When I first came to Italy, I looked to my mother-in-law as my guide to all things domestic. I shopped where she shopped and bought what she bought. My  mother-in-law, she was old school. No fancy shmancy supermarkets for her. She went to the pollaio to buy fresh chicken. That's right, fresh. No, no, you don't know what I mean. I'm talking super duper fresh chicken, as in, it's the entire animal: head, beak, feet, gizzards and lots and lots of stray quills - especially on the thighs and wings. I'm thankful that she taught me how to hold the chicken pieces over an open flame in order to burn off the quills rather than trying to pluck out each and every slippery quill individually, but ... really? Burn away chicken feathers and quills? yikes! So, needless to say, it was a very different experience from the faceless, feetless pre-confectioned boneless skinless quill-less chicken I was used to. And this is where she also bought her eggs. I actually thought it so wonderfully quaint and old fashioned the way the clerk, dressed in a white smock and cap, wrapped a dozen eggs in old newspapers and scotch taped the ends. I felt like Laura Ingalls from The Little House on the Prairie. Sweet. 

Well, it was one thing to see the eggs from a distance and an entirely different thing to see them unwrapped at home. They were absolutely filthy! Dried dirt and mud and chicken poop, and most shocking of all: feathers! Lots of little down and feathers sticking out every which way from the eggs! My brain, poor thing, didn't have time to be rational - I screamed! My brain had actually succeeded in convincing me that little tiny baby chickens were, at that very moment, hatching from their eggs. Now, you and I both know that this is impossible since the eggs we buy, sell and consume are unfertilized, but in that moment, Brain would not listen to reason and as a result, I was rendered stupid. 

Well, I stopped buying eggs from the pollaio if only because it was a hassle to wash and carefully scrub each and every egg with soap and water. Occasionally Mrs. Suocera, my mother-in-law, would, with the best of intentions, buy me those eggs and I would grudgingly, but thankfully, set out to wash them. Now, I buy a more "modern" brand of eggs from the regular food shops. Ovito brand - each egg is stamped with a lay date rather than the more common use-by date found in the States (eggs are good for up to 45 days from the day they were laid) and they're fairly clean. yay! 

We love deviled eggs. Just boil the eggs, cut them in halves, remove the yolks, smash the yolks in a small bowl, add salt, mustard and mayonnaise, mix well and use a pastry bag (which I don't own. I just use a clean freezer bag and cut a small hole at one end) and fill each egg half with the yolk mixture. Finish with a sprinkling of paprika and chives. Yummyness!

To keep your deviled eggs fresh, place them on a damp cloth or paper towel (instead of putting them directly onto a plate), then cover them with another damp cloth or paper towel. If you can manage it, keep the top cloth elevated so as not to touch the egg yolk, but if you use a paper towel, it should be light enough not to cause too much damage. Then transfer them to a serving dish when you're ready to present it to family or guests. 

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