[Sca-cooks] Pickled Egg Questions

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 27 11:48:55 PDT 2010

I recently noticed a recipe for pickled eggs in 1373 CE Mamluk-period 
Egyptian Book of the Description of Familiar Foods (Kitab Wasf 
al-At'ima al-Mu'tada). This book includes all of al-Baghdadi, a 
confectioner's manual, a chapter cribbed from some other book on food 
for invalids and those celebrating Lent, and heaps more recipes. The 
recipe has peeled hard-cooked eggs rubbed with salt, cinnamon, and 
ground coriander seed, then covered in pure wine vinegar.

I have heard talk on this list about pickled eggs, but have never 
made them myself. So i have some questions.

First, how long should the hard cooked eggs sit in the vinegar before 
they are sufficiently pickled? I realize this can vary based on what 
else is in the vinegar/how strong the vinegar is. But what i am 
getting at is, are they likely to be sufficiently sour after... 3 
days? a week? 10 days? whatever?

Second, how long are they likely to keep? I realize this can vary 
based on what is in the vinegar/how strong the vinegar is and the 
temperature at which they are kept. But what i am getting at is: in a 
camping situation, should they only be kept in the cooler?; can they 
survive not in a cooler (yes, depends on heat and humidity of locale, 
but...); at home in the refrigerator how long are they likely to 
remain safe to eat?

Third, how strong was their vinegar likely to be? Based on a number 
of pickling recipes that call for putting the main ingredient in pure 
vinegar, and on a number of meat recipes that call for cooking the 
meat (along with some spices) in pure vinegar, either they really 
liked things intensely acidic, or their vinegar might not have been 
quite as strong as ours. For example, one recipe called for putting 
fresh rose petals in pure vinegar with no other ingredients; i would 
think they would taste only of vinegar, unless the vinegar is not too 
strong. Also, i cooked a savory recipe and diluted the vinegar (1/2 
wine vinegar, 1/2 water), and people still complained it was too 

Fourth, should the eggs, having been kept in pure wine vinegar, be 
rinsed before eating?; merely blotted off; lustily consumed dripping 
with vinegar?

Just curious before i end up wasting eggs and wine vinegar...

Also, i have read this book many times, but i guess i skimmed the 
pickle section, because i hadn't noticed it before, although i did 
take note of some of the other pickle recipes. Has anyone else 
noticed pickled egg recipes in other SCA period Arabic language 
cookbooks? SCA period European cookbooks?
Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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