Sorry for the empty space here last week. But now I am back, refreshed, and ready for a whole theme week dedicated to eggs. I conceived of this theme during Easter as I feverishly dyed goose eggs from my parents’ farm, but now that I start to write, the enormity of the subject hits me. Almost all arthropods, vertebrates, and mollusks reproduce by laying eggs. We mammals are in a minority among animals (and even then, there are certain exceptions). The fertilized offspring of the vast majority of animals develop to viable lifeforms inside an egg. Eggs consequently hold a huge place in mythology, biology, and agriculture. A surprising number of cosmologies (and biographies) start with an egg cracking open. Likewise, an understanding of animals beyond hydrozoans requires one to contemplate differing sorts of eggs (and indeed the universal name for female gametes happens to be “eggs” as well).
So that is what I will be writing about for the rest of the week, however I am opening “egg week” with this little miniature essay as an introduction…and with the literary allusion pictured above. Do you recognize it? It is green eggs and ham! It occurred to me as I began to unpeel the eggs that I had accidentally re-created Sam-I-Am’s famous feast. The eggs are really dyed chicken eggs. This is the only mention I will make of eggs from a gastronomic context—but trust me, those eggs were quite delicious and, if we didn’t have so much ground to cover, we could dedicate an entire blog every day for a lifetime to eggs’ central position in cuisine. But alas, there is no time for custard pie recipes—we need to move on. Tune in tomorrow for one of those egg-based cosmologies!