Where does eggnog come from?

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“Oh, the weather outside is awful…” or at least that’s how it’s portrayed in the song in the weeks leading up to Christmas when many consider sitting in front of a roaring fire with a mug of eggnog.

In the United States, the traditional drink is distributed from October to December, when sales of the store-bought variety drop precipitously after Christmas.1 Over the past 50 years, grocery store sales have quadrupled. Although it is impossible to measure the popularity of the homemade version, it is estimated that Americans drink more than 135 million pounds per year.2

While most eggnog is consumed for two short months of the year around Thanksgiving and Christmas, retailers have noticed that the colder it is outside, the more eggnog they sell. Sales in the Midwest and Northeastern United States exceed the southern states, but even in normally cold regions, when the temperature rises, sales decline.

Despite fluctuations in cold-weather sales, food historian Andrew Smith reports that eggnog was traditionally a Southern drink when, in the early days of the United States, Christmas alcohol consumption was frowned upon.3

The Nog Original was made with wine or beer

The original eggnog made its first appearance around the 13th century in England.4 Only the rich could afford eggnog because it was made with liquors, eggs and milk which were scarce foods for commoners. The large estates had farms and there was no refrigeration to keep the ingredients fresh.5

Most believe that the first iteration of eggnog was the British “posset”. It was a hot milk drink that included beer. Posset may have been used to treat colds and flu when the drink was mixed with beer and spices.6 The upper class mixed it with sherry or brandy instead of beer.

Since milk, eggs, and sherry were foods only the wealthy could afford, eggnog became associated with roasting for prosperity.seven It wasn’t until the 1700s, when the drink was brought to the Americas, that it became linked to vacations.

Since many colonies had farms full of chickens and cows, eggnog made the leap from the aristocracy to the rest of society. However, sherry was still expensive in the Americas due to the high tax, so cheaper Caribbean rum was added instead.8

Eggnog made its first appearance in prose written in a comedy poem by Jonathan Boucher in 1775. But the first connection to Christmas came in the Virginia Chronicle in 1793 when it was reported:9

“Last Christmas Eve several gentlemen gathered at the Northampton courthouse and spent the evening in joy and celebration, when EGG-NOG was the main liquor used by the company. After indulging in this drink quite freely, a gentleman in company offered the bet that none of the band members could write four lines, extempore, which should be rhymes and meaning … “

The drink has become a tradition around the world, with some modifications depending on the country. In Mexico, it is called rompope, a drink created in a convent in Puebla.ten The basic recipe adds cinnamon and rum or cereal alcohol. In Peru, it is called biblia con pisco and is made with Peruvian pomace brandy.

The Germans call their drink Biersuppe and it’s made with beer. And, in Iceland, they have eggnog-like soup that is served as a hot dessert without alcohol. People who love the drink say that the store-bought variety doesn’t come close to the taste and texture of what you can make at home.

What’s in a name?

The drink is still sometimes called “egg flip” in Britain, referring to how it was made. Some in Australia also call it an “egg”, made with vanilla, milk, raw egg, sugar and grated nutmeg. Kidspot.au writes that “it’s a healthy, nutritious meal in a glass. Don’t tell kids there’s an egg in it and they’ll never know.11

It’s a mystery how the word “nog” came to be associated with eggnog. There are several theories, none of which have been proven. The word nog is said to be the name of a strong ale made in the East of England, England, which had a higher alcohol content than other types of ale or ale.12 When the eggs were added, the drink turned into eggnog.13

Another says that the word comes from the word ‘noggin’ which today means the head of a person, but in Middle English meant a carved wooden cup that people drank from. alcohol. Another theory says that it comes from the word ‘nug’, which is a type of beer drunk in Scotland that is warmed up by a poker.

And finally, a theory which is not as plausible says that the drink was named only after its arrival in the colonies, coming from the term “grog” which refers to the rum that the first Americans used in their milk of. hen.14 The term grog turned into nog and became eggnog. Wherever the term originated, it began to appear in the early 19th century in England and America.

Is there a raw egg in your nog?

Traditionally, homemade eggnog is made with a raw egg or two, depending on how much you make. However, if you get the store-bought variety, you will find that the FDA limits the amount of raw egg to 1% egg yolk, which is barely enough to say that there is an egg in the drink. .15

Besides the tiny portion of an egg, there are several other ingredients that you may not be able to pronounce, as well as pasteurized dairy products, sweeteners, and artificial flavors.16 If you choose to make your own healthy recipe at home, I highly recommend that you only use eggs from certified organic chickens and real pastured chickens from a trusted local farmer.

Eggs from conventionally raised hens can increase your risk of infections and diseases like salmonella, as bacteria thrive in livestock raised in Concentrated Animal Feeding (CAFO) operations, where conditions are cramped and unsanitary.

Local farmers who raise their chickens in certified organic and truly pasture-raised environments use coloring methods, including clean and spacious farms with adequate access to sunlight and room for the hens to forage for their food. natural.

This is why contamination by salmonella is rare in these animals. You can see the difference in the yolk of the eggs harvested from CAFOs or pasture raised chickens. Egg yolks from CAFOs are anemic light yellow in color, while egg yolks from pasture-raised chickens are a rich orange color.

The same goes for raw milk. Many believe that pasteurized milk is safer than raw milk from grass-fed cows, but that is simply not true, provided the raw milk is from a high-quality source. Pasteurization is necessary for commercial milk because cows are exposed to contamination and disease and loaded with antibiotics that proliferate antibiotic resistant infections.

the pasteurization kills bacteria but leaves the protein shell in the milk. Raw milk from grass-fed cows raised on pasture and raised in clean and healthy conditions does not present these dangers. Instead, milk teams up with nutrients, beneficial bacteria, and probiotics, which are benefits you simply can’t get from CAFO milk.

Fun facts about the traditional holiday drink

Whether you are a fan of the rich egg / milk mix or think it is a drink best relegated to ancient traditions,17 eggnog has an interesting history. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the first US president enjoyed eggnog during the Christmas season. His recipe contained an unhealthy amount of alcohol and sugar and did not specify the number of eggs needed. Printed in his words, Washington wrote:18

“A liter of cream, a liter of milk, a dozen tablespoons of sugar, a pint of brandy, ½ pint of rye whiskey, ½ pint of Jamaican rum, ¼ pint of sherry – mix l alcohol, then separate the yolks and whites of the eggs, add the sugar to the beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, beating slowly. Beat the egg whites until stiff and slowly incorporate into the mixture. Leave to set in the fridge for several days. Taste frequently. “

Dwight Eisenhower loved to de-stress while cooking and concocted his own eggnog recipe which called for “a dozen egg yolks, 1 pound of granulated sugar, 1 quart of bourbon, 1 liter of coffee cream (half and half). and 1 liter of whipping cream. . ”

The tradition of drinking alcohol-soaked eggnog during the Christmas season was interrupted at West Point Academy in 1826. Earlier in the year, Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, known as the “Father of West Point,” banned alcohol on campus. What followed became known as the Eggnog Riot.19

It started when some cadets smuggled alcohol onto campus for a Christmas party and began to be intoxicated. By the end of the night, there were broken windows, broken furniture and gunshots. No one was hurt, but a month later 19 students were court martialed and 11 were eventually expelled from school.20

In 1920, a British journalist, Pierce Egan, invented an eggnog drink made from rum and brandy. He called him the “Tom and Jerry”. Some believe that the cartoon Tom and Jerry was named after the drink.21

Delicious and healthy for the holidays

Whether you enjoy it every year or plan to try it this year for the first time, using a homemade eggnog recipe is your best bet for enjoying the true flavor of the drink and avoiding unnecessary strain ingredients. purchased in store.

It is important to remember that when alcohol is consumed in excessive amounts, it can wreak havoc on your liver and your overall health. The good news is, you can enjoy a healthy and delicious eggnog drink without alcohol. Judy Peacock, a Mercola.com reader, shared her healthy eggnog recipe it’s delicious, alcohol-free and perfect for all ages. Consider trying it out this season.

Healthy holiday eggnog recipe

Portion: 1

Ingredients

2 or 3 raw pasture eggs

Milk of your choice, such as grass-fed cow’s milk or coconut milk, enough to fill your glass or mug

A hint of nutmeg or vanilla

Raw honey to taste

A spoonful of whey protein powder (optional)

Procedure

  1. Put the eggs, milk, honey, and whey protein powder (if using) in a mug or glass. Add a little vanilla or nutmeg.
  2. Use a hand mixer to blend the mixture until frothy.
  3. Consume immediately.


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