FoodNetwork.com describes eggnog as follows, “A homogeneous blend of milk or cream, beaten eggs, sugar, nutmeg and usually liquor of some kind such as rum, brandy or whiskey.”
How scientific! But where did this ‘homogeneous blend’ come from and what’s a ‘nog’ anyway? According to Wikipedia, it’s believed that eggnog originated in England, and the ‘nog’ part of its name is probably derived from the word ‘noggin’, a “Middle English term used to describe a small, carved wooden mug used to serve alcohol.”
Wikipedia also goes on to inform us that, “In Britain, the drink was popular mainly among the aristocracy; dairy products and eggs were rarely consumed by the lower classes due to their high cost and the lack of refrigeration. Those who could get milk and eggs mixed it with brandy, Madeira or sherry to make a drink similar to modern alcoholic egg nog… ”
Today, eggnog is a popular beverage around the holidays, from Thanksgiving to New Years. And if you’ve never had homemade eggnog, well then boy oh boy are you in for a treat! With or without the spirits, fresh homemade eggnog is a rich and delicious indulgence. And if you’re the least bit concerned about consuming raw eggs (even your own), several recipes below have ‘cooked’ versions that are just as delicious and nutritious. Cheers, and happy holidays!
Simply Recipes (Tempered) Eggnog
Alton Brown’s basic Eggnog recipe
A Collection of Holiday Eggnog Recipes from Martha Stewart
Eggnog Recipe Collection, A website dedicated to Eggnog
As I searched my recipe archive for an Eggzy recipe idea, I came across a dish that calls for a poached egg… hmmm. Now I must admit, I’m not a runny yolk kind of person, but personal taste aside, is it even safe to eat eggs which have not been fully cooked?
Are raw eggs healthier than cooked eggs?
Some folks believe that raw eggs are more nutritious than cooked ones, this seems to be a common belief among bodybuilders, in particular, who want to build muscle mass ASAP, and view the raw egg as Mother Nature’s shot glass of protein. According to answerfitness.com, Charles Atlas himself “was a big fan of eating raw eggs, and included them in his diet recommendations.”
Answer Fitness goes on to cite a 1997 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, stating that ‘the protein in cooked eggs was actually 40% more bio-available to the body than when uncooked.’ Take a look at the research yourself; it’s dense but interesting, “… we demonstrated that the assimilation of cooked egg protein is efficient, albeit incomplete, and that the true ileal digestibility of egg protein is significantly enhanced by heat-pretreatment.” Got it?
With the current frequency of food borne illness and salmonella outbreaks, it seems that erring on the side of caution isn’t such a ridiculous thing to suggest.
Get the freshest eggs you can, try finding someone you know with a flock or someone local to you – preferably but not necessarily organic or pastured – then you’ll have less to worry about. Experts advise people to store eggs in the refrigerator at or below 45 degrees and to use them within 30 days of packing date. Cook them thoroughly—the USDA recommends Egg dishes (casseroles) be cooked to a temperature of 160 °F.
For more info on Egg Safety, try these resources:
Egg Safety Center
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: Salmonella Questions and Answers
More resources on Eggzy