Foodies have designated December as “National Egg Nog Month thus making it the perfect time to delve a little deeper into the history of this intoxicating holiday drink.
There are many ways to participate in the month long celebration to egg nog. What follows is a brief history of the drink and some ways that you and your foodie friends can join in on the month long egg nog celebration.
A Brief History of Egg Nog
Historians tend to agree that egg nog is descendant of an English drink known as “Pousset.” “Pousset” was a drink made of eggs, ale or wine, and milk that was enjoyed primarily by London’s upper class.
This was so because in London in the 1500’s and 1600’s only those wealthy enough to have large estates were able to afford a ready supply of fresh milk and eggs needed to make the drink.
When the first colonists came to America they brought with them their irresistible attraction for “Pousset.” That desire to have what was long considered to be a “drink of the prosperous” in what was considered the “new land of prosperity” grew steadily.
In addition to the desire to have it, there was an increase in access to fresh farm products for all classes, thus making egg nog more accessible to the huddled masses.
Though eggs and milk were more plentiful, there was still one other hurdle that early American colonists needed to get over in order to enjoy the luscious drink. It was the price of brandy and other European spirits such as sherry and Madeira.
The solution to high prices European spirits eventually came by way of the “Caribbean Triangle.”
An acceleration in trade with Caribbean based countries brought with it amplified access to less expensive spirits such as Puerto Rican rum. Hence colonists started using rum to add spirit to their egg nog.
At about the same time as egg nog started growing in popularity in Colonial America, the name of the drink switched from the British word “Pousset” to “egg nog.”
Some say that the name “egg nog” roughly translated means “egg in a little cup.”
Egg Nog Safety
The preponderance of homemade, traditional egg nog contains cooked eggs. Therefore they should be refrigerated immediately after creation. The fresh egg nog should be allowed to chill properly before serving and any unused portions must be re-refrigerated for safety purposes.
It is important to note that raw eggs in general should be refrigerated at a temperature between 33 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Fresh eggs that have been left out at room temperature for an hour or more should not be eaten. They should be discarded to prevent food poisoning.
Furthermore, when cooking egg nog it is important that the eggs reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy any deadly Salmonella that may be lurking in them.
Ways to Celebrate
Of course the first way you can help celebrate “National Egg Nog Month” is to make your own homemade egg nog. There are as many egg nog recipes out there as cultures. Each person or groups of people have their own egg nog making methods.
The second way you can celebrate “National Egg Nog Month” is to try a variety of egg nog recipes to see which ones you, your family and friends prefer.
Thirdly, there are also several dessert foods that are flavored with egg nog like egg nog cheesecake, egg nog pound cake, egg nog fudge and egg nog cookies that you could try.
Fourthly, why not buy a scented egg nog candle and make your entire home smell like a big, tasty cup of the stuff?
And fifthly, why not learn some more trivia about egg nog to amaze your friends with? There is an egg-stensive amount of egg nog and egg nog trivia and history available on the web.
For instance did you know that in 1826 at the “West Point Military Academy” in West Point, New York there was an “Egg Nog Riot” held in part by then Cadet Jefferson Davis?
Those that want to learn more about egg nog and ways to celebrate “National Egg Nog Month” should check out the “American Egg Board” website or the “History Channel” website.