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Deviled eggs date back several thousand years to when Roman chefs served boiled eggs in sauces filled with herbs and spices. In the thirteenth century, Spaniards were the first to remove, mash, and season the yolks before stuffing them back into the egg. From there the craze swept across Europe to Britain, and eventually to America. Fannie Farmer is credited with creating the modern deviled egg—bound with mayonnaise and flavored with mustard and paprika—in Boston in 1896.
Local chefs are taking advantage of the dish’s potential. At Osteria Tulia, chef Vincenzo Betulia spikes his version with salmon roe, chives, and cayenne. Betulia’s Gallic restaurant, The French, serves a variation on the classic oeufs mimosa with chives and domestic caviar. HobNob’s deviled eggs are filled with sugar-cured bacon and a tomato jam, while BrickTop’s adds simple syrup and sweet relish to the yolks before finishing the presentation with candied-brown sugar bacon.
By far, the most upscale version can be found at Ocean Prime. The yolks are flavored with white truffle oil, English mustard, and freshly squeezed lemon juice, then topped with shaved black truffles and American hackleback caviar. “It’s a perfect way to begin a meal,” says supervisor Matt Johnson. “The truffle essence adds an intriguing aroma, and the tang from the mustard and lemon juice stimulates the taste buds and encourages the appetite.”