Eggs are a marvel, a mystery and a mainstay of the American diet.
And so when we looked back at our most popular posts of 2014 and saw that three of the top 20 were about eggs, we weren't surprised. People love eggs.
And don't mind if we admit that these three stories, which went viral, were good ones:
(Pun lovers, check the comment threads on these posts. The egg wordplay is absolutely wonderful.)
Still, we wondered if there might be another, deeper explanation for why eggs ruled NPR's Our Salt blog.
We turned, once again, to Michael Ruhlman, author of Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World's Most Versatile Ingredient, the book featured in the second story above.
Here's what he told The Salt:
"About 99 percent of the population eats eggs, so everybody has them in their fridge. They're something we all share. They're also beautiful objects — the shape is one of the most elegant on earth. Inside that is all the stuff to create life ... They're kind of miracle of economy, utility, deliciousness, nutritiousness."
But, Ruhlman says, while eggs are so familiar and so ubiquitous, they are also mysterious. We're increasingly confused about how they are produced.
"Our country is becoming very interested in the source of our food. But we don't actually know where any of our food comes from. We're confused about how to cook eggs, and what all these labels mean. So we don't know the basic principles about one of our most fundamental foods."
Food stories, like the ones told on The Salt, "allow us to stop and appreciate the egg. It's something that we rarely do, but we like to appreciate our food. These stories are filling a need that we didn't realize we had," he says.
Cheers to that. And if your appetite for egg stories has only just been whetted, we're happy to serve up more: