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How do people serve themselves deviled eggs?

edwardspk Jan 31, 2011 12:21 PM

OK, this might be an odd question. I love deviled eggs and have deviled egg platters for presenting the eggs at the table. But is there any serving utensil designed for people to pick up the eggs? The obvious answers are just use your fingers, or provide a tablespoon or soup spoon. But my question is, is there such a thing that is designed and intended to be used for picking up deviled eggs off the platter?

We have tomato servers, asparagas servers, pickle forks, olive spoons, nut spoons, etc. Anything like that for the humble deviled egg?

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  1. sunshine842 RE: edwardspk Jan 31, 2011 12:35 PM

    a fork.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842
      OldDog RE: sunshine842 Jan 31, 2011 10:41 PM

      yep, or one round toothpick per egg half, inserted at a slight angle, pointy end towards thickest part of white of egg. If you do need to get all fancy, use frilly-ended toothpicks, or hunt google for gold plated picks. (kidding)

      1. re: OldDog
        hill food RE: OldDog Jan 31, 2011 10:53 PM

        of course you were kidding.

        picks are gilded, not plated.

        1. re: hill food
          OldDog RE: hill food Feb 1, 2011 01:04 AM

          But of course...silly of me.

      2. re: sunshine842
        JacquiStanard RE: sunshine842 Feb 2, 2011 07:48 AM

        I have seen a deviled egg serving spoon at a Christmas gathering this year. It was old, but could not discern the metal content - being eggs, it wouldn't lend itself to silver, so you think "stainless", but it was old enough that stainless probably wasn't available. At any rate, it looked like a normal serving spoon, but only had a small rim around the bowl and the borrom of the bowl was removed - so the spoon would slide under the egg and cradle it. Will see if I can find more info -

      3. i
        Isolda RE: edwardspk Jan 31, 2011 12:40 PM

        I have never seen a specialized utensil, but I have seen people try to lift them with a spoon, only to have them slip away onto the table or floor. Since you're not touching other people's eggs, only the one you intend to eat yourself, I don't think it's unhygienic or tacky to use your fingers. I will be interested to see if there is a utensil for this.

        1. Euonymous RE: edwardspk Jan 31, 2011 12:45 PM

          Deviled eggs are essentially a picnic food, so I don't think any serving utensils are necessary besides one's fingers. But I did see something that might work if you want to get fancy. It's a snail server by Vollrath. You can find it here: http://www.hubert.com/pres77079/Vollr...

          2 Replies
          1. re: Euonymous
            sunshine842 RE: Euonymous Jan 31, 2011 01:50 PM

            if those are true escargot tongs, they're spring loaded...which will squish your deviled eggs in a heartbeat.

            1. re: sunshine842
              hill food RE: sunshine842 Jan 31, 2011 05:32 PM

              I was going to say escargot tongs, with a bit of reserve allowing for the pressure.

              although I suppose asparagus tongs might work.

              but really fingers are best unless we're wallowing in our OCD.

          2. f
            floggingfrog RE: edwardspk Jan 31, 2011 02:02 PM

            What about a Japanese-style soup spoon, as they have a bit of an edge, so as not to let the devlied eggs slip out so easily as a regular one? Good question, edwardspk. I do LOVE my "specialized" kitchen gadgets and servers!

            1. e
              ellabee RE: edwardspk Jan 31, 2011 03:01 PM

              There really isn't a specialized serving utensil; I'm familiar with the whole panoply of silver servers from the height of the elaborate table era (1880s-1910s). The specialized serving platter for deviled eggs usually has depressions shallow enough and separated by enough space from each other that it's convenient for people to pick the eggs up with fingers.

              Now you've got me wondering how far back in time the dish goes in the U.S.

              1. c oliver RE: edwardspk Jan 31, 2011 03:30 PM

                Interesting. I can eat almost anything with a knife and fork but I think the accepted method for eating a deviled egg is with one's fingers. And there's nothing about a DE that doesn't shout casual. So I think picking up with fingers is probably fine. But you're right. There are asparagus servers but the correct way to eat those is with one's fingers. Hmm.

                1. kaleokahu RE: edwardspk Jan 31, 2011 05:20 PM

                  edwardspk: How they DO serve themselves (usually with fingers) is, IMO, different from how they SHOULD serve themselves.

                  Most deviled egg plates are designed to maximize the number of egg halves you can place there. Which means the eggs are touching or nearly so. Which means you must have the eyes of a fighter pilot, the dexterity of a neurosurgeon, and complete sobriety to touch only your serving. Realistically, if you leave utensils out of it, you're only slightly better off than if you invite everyone to avocado-test every egg on the plate. OK, maybe a little hyperbolic...

                  I'm not sure if there's a tool specific to the task, but I offer up icecube tongs as an alternative.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: kaleokahu
                    Aunt Jenny RE: kaleokahu Jan 31, 2011 10:56 PM

                    I collect egg plates, and though there are exceptions, they traditionally hold 12 half-eggs (with room in the center for relish or dip or decoration). I've never found the spacing to be such an issue that adjacent eggs get manhandled while retrieving one's little devil of choice. If it's still too oogie for you, ice tongs are an excellent idea... or you could use "medium" rather than "jumbo" eggs-- they look tidier in the little plate depressions, anyway.

                    1. re: kaleokahu
                      hill food RE: kaleokahu Jan 31, 2011 10:59 PM

                      but what exactly is the point of the 'test'? I mean a hard boiled egg is a hard boiled egg and in a batch one is likely to be the same as the next. it makes no sense.

                      1. re: hill food
                        c oliver RE: hill food Feb 1, 2011 06:09 AM

                        That had been my thought, hf, but maybe I've lived my life unaware of the intricacies of picking just the right one.

                        1. re: hill food
                          kaleokahu RE: hill food Feb 2, 2011 08:44 AM

                          hill food: LOL. The point of the test? Well, it's to physically examine many/each egg to get the "best" one (or 8). I'm not saying it makes any sense, but that's what I see folks at picnics and private buffets do. Being pretty old, pretty young, or pretty smashed can correlate. It's probably a thing about lack of impulse control.

                          Stand and watch the action at the avacado bin sometime right after they refill it with unripe ones... After about 4 unsuccessful squeezes, the testers aren't even looking at the avs anymore, they're just touching as many as they can.

                          People do the same thing at salad bars when the condiment tongs go AWOL. Yummmm.

                          1. re: kaleokahu
                            FoodFuser RE: kaleokahu Feb 2, 2011 11:48 AM

                            I'd prefer to give sight
                            that people have right
                            to squeeze as they choose of their alligator pears.

                            It is same in their journey to purchase avocados,

                            Each one and everyone gives them a squeeze
                            which is more than can be said for deviled eggs

                            Where each, at resting
                            can attest to a testing
                            that is more of a visual perusal,

                            Our eyes roam the eggs
                            and help us select
                            the ovums we seek to select.

                            It is less of a squeeze
                            than an optholamalic tease
                            in those eggs that we choose to selelect,

                            1. re: kaleokahu
                              Aunt Jenny RE: kaleokahu Feb 14, 2011 12:39 PM

                              HA! My mom is a picky (but sanitary and respectful) produce "chooser"-- she'd never squeeze a peach or maul an avocado-- and once spent quite a while at the iceberg lettuce trying to find a good one (some might say "good iceberg lettuce" is an inherent contradiction, but that's another argument). After she finally made her selection, she turned to put said head in her cart, and a man standing behind her very politely asked "Um, ma'am? Which is the SECOND-best one?"

                        2. Quine RE: edwardspk Jan 31, 2011 07:32 PM

                          OK, so I thought, deviled eggs, if there was a special item to serve those....old Vics would have had them! Alas, howbeit I was undone. I could find no deviled egg server thingie.
                          I have found that the spoon side of a salad set works, just right.

                          1. Sarah RE: edwardspk Jan 31, 2011 08:32 PM

                            I serve mine in cupcake liners -- can easily be picked up.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Sarah
                              goodhealthgourmet RE: Sarah Jan 31, 2011 08:43 PM

                              i've done this before, it's a great solution :) depending on the size of the eggs, mini-muffin liners work too...as do endive leaves.

                            2. tanuki soup RE: edwardspk Jan 31, 2011 08:45 PM

                              Why, round appetizer tongs, of course! They are also useful for serving Swedish meatballs, which are NOT finger food in civilized society. What IS the world coming to!? Hmmph!

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: tanuki soup
                                sunshine842 RE: tanuki soup Jan 31, 2011 09:47 PM

                                Am I the only one who's ever seen (not even at just my own table, but plenty of other folks' houses in several different countries) people pick up a deviled egg from the platter with a fork (stab it), then cut it in half (with the edge of the fork) and eat the halves with a fork?

                                My first leaning is for fingers, but if you're looking for a non-fingers alternative, the fork works well.

                                1. re: sunshine842
                                  c oliver RE: sunshine842 Feb 1, 2011 06:13 AM

                                  I'd think stabbing and then cutting with the side of a fork might fall below fingers as far as what's appropriate. But, hey, I've learned some new ones here so whatever works :) It IS rather picnic fare.

                                  1. re: c oliver
                                    sunshine842 RE: c oliver Feb 1, 2011 06:39 AM

                                    In Europe, you tend to use silverware over fingers every time...you haven't lived 'til you've seen someone trying to eat barbecued ribs or corn on the cob with a knife and fork.

                                    How could using a fork be more inappropriate than fingers, assuming the fork is clean when used to stab the egg?

                                    If you're outdoors at a picnic, knock yourself out and use your fingers (I'd still use a fork to *serve*)...but at a table with real silverware, it can't possibly be inappropriate.

                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                      c oliver RE: sunshine842 Feb 1, 2011 07:38 AM

                                      Oh, sunshine, it was the stabbing (rather than sliding the fork under) and the cutting with the edge of the fork (rather than a knife) that I was referring to. My very proper Southern mother scarred me for life :)

                                      1. re: c oliver
                                        FoodFuser RE: c oliver Feb 1, 2011 11:30 AM

                                        The deviled egg training from church marm minded Mamas
                                        was far past the fork or the spoon or the egg.

                                2. re: tanuki soup
                                  c oliver RE: tanuki soup Feb 1, 2011 06:11 AM

                                  I've never heard of "appetizer tongs," round or otherwise.

                                  1. re: c oliver
                                    FoodFuser RE: c oliver Feb 1, 2011 07:06 AM

                                    I've got one from my Mom that could aptly apply.

                                    As with all things in life, it's about placement and prominence and hang of the prong.

                                    I treasure my mother's diminutive six incher
                                    As it fits very well with her lead cryystal tray.

                                    I have no idea of the length of protuberance required as sufficientl long
                                    But I'm happy with M\ommas six inches.

                                3. FoodFuser RE: edwardspk Feb 1, 2011 12:34 AM

                                  So now we have thread
                                  of the Deus ex Machina
                                  that disperses to diner
                                  the grand deviled egg.

                                  To accord to the Machina
                                  one could construct a crane
                                  with a soft frilly grapple
                                  to give grip to the egg.

                                  I have several dishes
                                  engraved with recesses
                                  that cradle and nestle
                                  the ovoid of the egg.

                                  But I do not use them,
                                  and instead when I serve them
                                  I use rosemary branches
                                  cut from my shrub.

                                  Nestled in roughness of rosemary branches
                                  those glistening half-ovoids
                                  Demand to be plucked without role of the Machina
                                  With joy we employ the pinch of our fingers.

                                  1. a
                                    AdamD RE: edwardspk Feb 1, 2011 06:28 AM

                                    Vegetable/asparagus tongs. Not sure if you can find them cheap, they are usually part of a formal service.

                                    1. tim irvine RE: edwardspk Feb 2, 2011 07:12 PM

                                      Alas, the Victorians missed the boat on Southern culture. How about lacquered chopsticks and a towel on your lap!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: tim irvine
                                        kaleokahu RE: tim irvine Feb 2, 2011 08:11 PM

                                        Tim: I'm thinking a miniature version of a waterslide with tongue depressor apron. Just tip and there you go.

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