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Pickled Eggs Tavern-Style
Where did pickled eggs originate? As with most pickled foods, these delectable treats were born of necessity for preservation purposes. Before refrigeration many foods were salted, brined, dried or smoke, in order to keep food edible during the winter months. Many believe that the British introduced pickled eggs but I think they are of German ancestry brought by early German immigrants. You could then argue that pickled eggs have Russian or Polish roots too. So let’s just say they are of European decent, that should cover everyone:)
Pickled, Pickled, Pickled
Pickled eggs, pickled sausages, pickled pigs feet, why oh why are they served in Pubs, Taverns, and Bars. Good question, and one I really didn’t find the answer too. So I guess I’ll give you my story on pickled eggs. Way back when, in the late 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, when hard-working, blue-collar men and laborers like my dad, worked shift work. They would often stop at the local tavern after work, to have a shot and a beer and shoot the shit, before heading home to the wife and kids, in my dads case, six kids.
Pickled Eggs, Bar Snack Good
Back then, bars and taverns didn’t serve pizza, at least not the taverns my dad frequented. He told me that the guys would get hungry and eat the stuff sitting on the back counter, hiding, next to the peanuts and potato chips. It seemed to me that the jars filled with pickled eggs, pigs feet and sausages were always hidden out of plain sight. I can’t imagine many wives were happy when their hubby came home late, let alone when the pickled eggs made their way down their digestive tract and came back out the other end. Pickled egg gas ladies, could not have been pleasant. I wonder how many arguments occurred when husbands came home after a night of beer drinking and pickled egg eating….many men must have spent the night sleeping on the couch.
My first Pickled Egg
When I was a young girl maybe 8 or 9 years old, way back in the 60’s, I would go with my dad to the “Corner Bar.” He would help me up on the big bar stool. I would sit on the bar stool and spin around and around until I got dizzy. The bartender would serve me a small glass of pop with a straw and I’d get to eat my very own bag of Old Dutch potato chips. Then the bartender would come over to me with a large basket full of candy bars. I would get to pick out one candy bar from the basket, and I would get to eat the whole candy bar. Sitting on the counter, among the bottles of different colored liquor, were large jars filled with eggs and other “stuff.”
What Is that Stuff?
I asked my dad what was in those large jars and he told me, “Pickled eggs, sausages, and pigs feet.” Even at that young age I could understand pickled eggs and sausages, but pigs feet! My dad called to the bartender, “Smitty, bring me over one of those pickled eggs.” A few minutes later, Smitty appeared with a paper plate that had two pickled eggs, sliced in half, with salt and pepper sprinkled over the eggs. My dad looked at me and said, “Take a bite, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it.” Okay I said. I bravely picked up an egg halve, shut my eyes and took a bite. Surprisingly it wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t gross either. It tasted to me like an egg with a pickle slice on top…..
Years later, when I was in my mid 20’s I ate another pickled egg. This time it was more of a dare type situation than anything else. My husband at the time and I were out with some friends after a softball game. After a few beers and a couple of Alabama slammers, they “egged” me on so to speak, to try a pickled egg. Well, of course I ate one…and once again it wasn’t that bad…not great but not gross either. I have to admit, I’m not a fan of pickled eggs. Sorry, but I’m not. Now on the other hand, my hubby loves pickled eggs….and he loved this recipe.
Tasty and delicious. Perfect with an ice cold beer.
Tavern-Style Picked Eggs can be found in most Taverns and Pubs all over the state of Wisconsin for years. No doubt these tasty, hard-boiled, pickled eggs can be traced back to German ancestors.
- 24 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
- 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- 4 bay leaves
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 6 green onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon celery seed
- 1 tablespoon pickling spices
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
In a large sterilized gallon-size glass jar, place peeled hard-boiled eggs, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, garlic cloves and sliced green onions. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine, sea salt, celery seed, pickling spice, sugar, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar and water. Bring to a boil. Pour boiling mixture over eggs in glass jar, cover eggs completely. Seal jar and let sit undisturbed until room temperature. Refrigerate for up to three weeks.