Deviled eggs and cookouts go together like PB&J. They are a mainstay at our cookouts.

I use my mother’s recipe. She never wrote it down, but I watched her enough to know to mix enough egg yolks, mustard, mayonnaise, and sweet relish to fill the hollowed whites. Sometimes I use dill relish instead of the sweet. Don’t tell Mother, she’d be appalled.

We serve our deviled eggs on a plate that belonged to my husband’s sister. Most of the time, cookouts around our house also include 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) and my daddy’s homemade ice cream. It’s a way to include those who have gone before.

On July 4th, as we sat around munching deviled eggs, our conversation turned to why the eggs are called deviled.

Fingers of techno-device-loaded guests raced on iPhones, iPads, and Androids for the answer. In one click Google came to the rescue, revealing interesting things about deviled eggs.

  • Deviled eggs have been around since the first century.
  • The recipe was first compiled sometime between the fourth and fifth century A.D.
  • By the 15th century, stuffed eggs had made their way across much of Europe.
  • By 1800, deviling became a verb to describe the process of making food spicy.

You can read more fascinating details about the origin here

Google also provided the answer to our original question. The term deviled is assumed to come from the heat level of the stuffing ingredients. Spices such as mustard, paprika, cayenne and wasabi add spicy heat. That lends itself to the association between the devil and the excessive heat in Hell, hence deviled.

When served at church functions, deviled egg hors d’oeuvres are called mimosa eggs, stuffed eggs, dressed eggs, salad eggs, or angel eggs. To avoid an association with Satan, of course.

So, do you make deviled eggs? More importantly, do you call them angel eggs?