Summertime means deviled eggs, one of my all-time favorite treats. I have a difficult time associating the eggs with the devil, though.

Some people use other names like mimosa eggs, stuffed eggs, dressed eggs, or salad eggs to remove any whiff of the devil.

My personal favorite is angel eggs. That name removes all hints of the Satanic.

But deviled as a culinary descriptor to describe something spicy has been around since 1786.

The recipe—slicing eggs, mashing the yolks, and stuffing the mixture back into the hollowed-out egg white—dates even longer, back to the ancient Romans.

By the 19th century, deviled eggs were a cookbook staple in the United States. Special dishes called egg plates with wells to hold the eggs arrived on the scene.  Tupperware even created a carrier for them. (Also collectible now.)

The plates were popular wedding gifts in the 1950s-60s-70s. Today, vintage egg plates are highly collectible. Just check out eBay or Etsy.

The recipe ingredients for deviling have changed through time. In the 1940s Fannie Farmer suggested adding mayonnaise to the mustard, paprika, and yolks. This modern recipe hardly seems “devilishly” spicy.

Twenty-first century cooks add pickles, dill, bacon, crabmeat, sriracha, kimchi, wasabi, and caviar among other ingredients. Those additions would definitely add taste to the filling. Not necessarily devilish in my opinion.

Our family recipe calls for sweet pickle relish. I use dill relish instead, but don’t tell my mother. She’d be appalled.

Whatever you call them or however you make them, deviled eggs are popular for picnics and potlucks.

They’ll be a part of our family celebration this 4th of July served on our special deviled egg plate shown above. The 1970s plate belonged to my husband’s sister.

We’ll also serve my aunt’s baked beans, my mother-in-law’s chocolate cake (the one with the secret coffee ingredient that we never told my father-in-law about–he didn’t like coffee, you see).

And, of course, daddy’s homemade ice cream. It’s a way to include those who have gone before and feel like they’re with us in spirit.

How about you? Will you be serving deviled eggs or angel eggs this summer?