Wednesday, November 19, 2014

1000 Year Old Egg

This week was pretty good, seeing lots of progress, we'll see how things go in tung chung. Just barely got back from the temple, which was super nice. Not really too much to report this week. I got 2 suits last pday so I'll send you pics of the fabrics, they're not done yet. they were actually cheaper than I thought they would be, so that's good. Things are happening so fast, everyone is getting married, the sisters in the MTC with me are long gone, time just moves by so ridiculously fast now, I hate it.
So how was trevors wedding? Where was it? Home sounds crazy as ever. I'm really not sure what to tell y'alls this week, I'm sorry. Things are going good though, I'm happy, I'm growing, and things just keep on happening so fast.

I'll fill out the thing now.
For pday: Temple and mong kok
Best thing this week: temple
Food: lots of curry
Investigators: still got sister sung
I am studying: lots of characters and how to say bible quotes in chinese
I am feeling: happy
Next temple day: next move
Teach us a word: jou sahn is good morning:) I say this all the time
Story: none, mwahaha!
Did you buy a suit? if yes, what color? in the pic
Pictures: ok, didn't really take any this week, sorry
Anything else you want to say: Not really , doing good, just not too much going on right now.

Also, we ended up having an adventure last week showing some couple missionaries what 1000 year old eggs were like and she set this thing up to show everybody, hopefully you like it.

I hope everyone is doing well, I'll keep up the good work, and so should all of you!

Elder Osborne

There were two documents attached in the email talking about the 1000 year old egg and the salted duck egg. Here they are:

#1 - Century egg  also known as preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, thousand-year-old egg, and millennium egg, is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing.

Through the process, the yolk becomes a dark green to grey colour, with a creamy consistency and an odor of sulphur and ammonia, while the white becomes a dark brown, translucent jelly with salty or little flavour. The transforming agent in the century egg is its alkaline material, which gradually raises the pH of the egg to around 9–12, or more during the curing process. This chemical process breaks down some of the complex, flavorless proteins and fats, which produces a variety of smaller flavorful compounds.

Some eggs have patterns near the surface of the egg white that are likened to pine branches, and that gives rise to one of its Chinese names, the pine-patterned egg.

The origin of the method for creating century eggs likely came about through the need to preserve eggs in times of plenty by coating them in alkaline clay, which is similar to methods of egg preservation in some Western cultures.  The clay hardens around the egg and results in the curing and creation of century eggs instead of spoiled eggs.

According to some, the century egg has over five centuries of history behind its production. Its discovery, though not verifiable, was said to have occurred around 600 years ago in Hunan during the Ming Dynasty, when a homeowner discovered duck eggs in a shallow pool of slaked lime that was used for mortar during construction of his home two months before. Upon tasting the eggs, he set out to produce more — this time with the addition of salt to improve their flavor — resulting in the present recipe of the century egg.

The traditional method for producing century eggs is the development and improvement from the aforementioned primitive process. Instead of using just clay, a mixture of wood ashquicklime, and salt is included in the plastering mixture, thereby increasing its pH and sodium content. This addition of natural alkaline compounds improved the odds of creating century eggs instead of spoilage and also increased the speed of the aforementioned primitive process. A recipe for creating century eggs through this process starts with the infusion of three pounds of tea in boiling water. To the tea, three pounds of quicklime (or seven pounds when the operation is performed in winter), nine pounds ofsea salt, and seven pounds of wood ash from burned oak is mixed into a smooth paste. While wearing gloves to prevent the lime corroding the skin, each egg is individually covered by hand, then rolled in a mass of rice chaff to keep the eggs from adhering to one another before they are placed in cloth-covered jars or tightly woven baskets. The mud slowly dries and hardens into a crust over several months, and then the eggs are ready for consumption.

Even though the traditional method is still widely practiced, modern understanding of the chemistry behind the formation of century eggs has led to many simplifications in the recipe. For instance, soaking the eggs in a brine of saltcalcium hydroxide, and sodium carbonate for 10 days followed by several weeks of aging while wrapped in plastic is said to achieve the same effect as the traditional method. This is because egg-curing in both the new and traditional methods is accomplished by introducing hydroxide ions and sodium into the egg.
The poisonous compound lead oxide increases the curing speed of century eggs, which has led to some unscrupulous producers in the past adding it to their curing mixtures. However, zinc oxide is now used as a safer alternative. Although zinc is an essential micronutrient, excessive zinc consumption can lead to copper deficiency, so the zinc content needs to be checked for safety.

#2 - A salted duck egg is a Chinese preserved food product made by soaking duck eggs in brine, or packing each egg in damp, salted charcoal. In Asian supermarkets, these eggs are sometimes sold covered in a thick layer of salted charcoal paste. The eggs may also be sold with the salted paste removed, wrapped in plastic, and vacuum packed. From the salt curing process, the salted duck eggs have a briny aroma, a gelatin-like egg white and a firm-textured, round yolk that is bright orange-red in color.
Salted duck eggs are normally boiled or steamed before being peeled and eaten as a condiment to congee or cooked with other foods as a flavoring. The egg white has a sharp, salty taste. The orange red yolk is rich, fatty, and less salty. The yolk is prized and is used in Chinese mooncakes to symbolize the moon.
Despite its name, salted duck eggs can also be made from chicken eggs, though the taste and texture will be somewhat different, and the egg yolk will be less rich.

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