Where Does The Name 'Deviled Egg' Come From?

A traditional deviled egg recipe calls for just a few pantry staples: Mayonnaise and paprika are a must, and adding a few extras like vinegar and hot sauce can kick up the flavor. But nowadays, restaurants are coming up with some truly wild takes on this classic. Bon Appétit notes some particularly stunning examples: At San Francisco's Anchovy Bar, deviled eggs collide with caesar salad, the eggs being topped with anchovies, dressing, parmesan, bottarga, and chives. New York City's Tuome coats the egg whites Panko breadcrumbs and fries them before adding the yolk mixture.

But this egg dish has come a long way from its origin and has been around for much longer than you might think, though it didn't get coined with its 'deviled' moniker for quite some time.

Satanic snacks

Deviled eggs are believed to have evolved from an Ancient Roman appetizer. Bon Appétit reveals that Rome's wealthy elite enjoyed a dish made of boiled eggs and spicy sauce. By the 13th century, people began using the signature process of separating the yolks and blending them with spices. In the region of present-day Spain, cooks blended egg yolks with pepper, onion, cilantro, and fermented fish sauce before stuffing them back into the hollow whites. Many medieval cookbooks include recipes for stuffed eggs filled with all manner of things including raisins, cheese, and sugar. Despite their ancient popularity, Yahoo! Life reveals that the 'deviled' name did not come around until the late 1700s.

There are many kinds of foods other than eggs that are considered "deviled," like deviled crab, deviled ham, and deviled chicken, as deviled food can refer to anything made with spicy seasonings. It's assumed that the association comes from the devil being a big fan of heat, but the Satanic link doesn't sit well with everyone. Yahoo Life! notes that America's early Puritan population wasn't a fan of the term (shocking, we know). Consequently, there are several alternative names for deviled eggs, including 'stuffed eggs,' 'salad eggs,' and 'angel eggs.'