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Ostrich egg painted with erotic decorations, Copyright: picturpicture-alliance/dpa/w. Thieme
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/w. Thieme

5 things you probably didn't know eggs can do

Antje Binder / eg
April 13, 2017

Beyond ruling the breakfast table and the Easter basket, discover these five unexpected functions of eggs. You can also get passionately involved in a very German debate: How do you eat a soft-boiled egg?


Germans can debate forever on the best way to crack a soft-boiled egg: Should you gently tap your egg and peel off the top, or whack the crown off to cut it in two?

Some relationships have not survived differences of opinion on the controversial issue. It is not only a passionate topic of discussion around the breakfast table, but on YoutTbe as well.

Whack or peel?

The so-called "guillotine" method - in which one whacks off the crown of the egg - is considered clean, practical and quick. The egg is opened with one decisive hit on the side of the egg using a knife, and then the egg can easily be spooned out of its natural container.

Some find this technique too violent and uncivilized. They prefer to delicately tap on the eggshell and peel the top off. This method has the disadvantage of letting you fumble with little pieces of shell, insist those in the decapitation camp.

Undetermined rules of etiquette

Traditionally, Germans would usually peel their eggs, because the silver knives they had would change the color of the egg and give it a metallic taste. Nowadays, with stainless steel cutlery, these problems have disappeared, so even the German bible of etiquette, the Knigge, sees both methods as acceptable. It nevertheless offers a few extra recommendations on the matter.

The whackers should avoid hitting their egg too far down, otherwise the runny yolk of a soft-boiled egg could splash out as a result of the maneuver. One should hit decisively, yet without overdoing it, to avoid slaughtering the egg completely.

The peelers should gently tap the top of the egg until it cracks and then peel off the shell.

The technological compromise

There is an alternative method which can be used, but it involves a special kitchen tool. Although this device can only accomplish one task, the Germans have given it an extra long name: "Eierschalensollbruchstellenverursacher."

It functions like a small guillotine for eggs, so one could claim it is a tool for the whackers, but the clean and round cut around the crown of the egg allows it to be gently removed, pleasing the peeler's camp as well.

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