HomeLifestyleFood & RecipesThe mighty egg: A cultural and culinary history of our favourite household...

The mighty egg: A cultural and culinary history of our favourite household ingredient

Poached, scrambled, boiled, whipped into a cocktail, transformed into a painting medium, tossed at an enemy’s house. As the most striking of paradoxes, the egg exists in happy suspension between humble household ingredient and ever-powerful source of life.

One of the most enduring symbols throughout antiquity, eggs were used by the Romans to dispel evil spirits, modelled as priceless artefacts for the Russian nobility, and were woven into Egyptian mythology.

Taschen have teamed up with The Gourmand, a food and culture journal that explores the fields of art, design, literature, film, fashion and music through the universal subject of food, to produce a collection of original essays and archetype recipes. The Gourmand’s Egg: A Collection of Stories and Recipes is illustrated with commissions by acclaimed still-life photographers. Rounding out the volume are works from great artists such as Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo and David Hockney alongside texts from chef, food writer and critic Ruth Reichl and more.

“In cooking — as in almost everything else,” Reichl said. “It all starts with an egg.”

Bobby Doherty, ‘Bug Egg’, 2018

(Photo by Bobby Doherty)

Sarah Lucas, ‘Self Portrait with Fried Eggs’, 1996. The egg is a common motif in feminist art, often as a visual eponym for the female body itself, and to explore everything from sexism and eroticism to themes of oppression and liberation.

(Courtesy of Sarah Lucas and Sadie Coles HQ)

Bobby Doherty, ‘Egg Cake’, 2021

(Photo by Bobby Doherty)

Marius W Hansen, ‘Chicken’, 2021

(Photo by Marius W Hansen)

Gustav Almestål, ‘Ovophobia (after Hitchcock)’, 2021. British-born director and famous ovophobe Alfred Hitchcock once told a journalist: “I’m frightened of eggs. Worse than frightened; they revolt me… Have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid?”

(Photo by Gustav Almestål)

Bobby Doherty, ‘Breakfast and Brunch’, 2021

(Photo by Bobby Doherty)

Bobby Doherty, ‘Sweet Eggs’, 2021

(Photo by Bobby Doherty)

Robin Broadbent, ‘Timer’, 2021. Sand was just fine for the longest time. Silently, slowly counting eggs to the perfect set. Then kitchens became noisier, and egg-timing followed suit. Designed and shaped for the task, today’s timers twist then tick, then toll their tiny bell above the din.

(Photo by Robin Broadbent)

The Gourmand’s Egg: A Collection of Stories & Recipes


You can purchase ‘The Gourmand’s Egg: A Collection of Stories & Recipes’ here

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