Avgolemono

Avgolemono, Avgolémono
Type Sauce and soup
Main ingredients Eggs, lemon juice, broth
Cookbook: Avgolemono, Avgolémono  Media: Avgolemono, Avgolémono

Avgolemono, avgolémono (from Greek: αυγολέμονο or αβγολέμονο[1]) or egg-lemon sauce, is a family of sauces and soups made with egg yolk and lemon juice mixed with broth, heated until they thicken. They are found in Greek, Turkish, Arab, Sephardic Jewish, Balkan, and Italian cuisine.

In Sephardic Jewish cuisine – which possibly invented it[2] –, it is called agristada or salsa blanco, and in Italian cuisine, bagna brusca, brodettato, or brodo brusco.[3] In Arabic, it is called tarbiya or beida bi-lemoune 'egg with lemon'; and in Turkish terbiye. It is also widely used in Balkan cuisine.[4]

Sauce

As a sauce, it is used for warm dolma, for vegetables like artichokes, and for stew-like dishes where the egg-lemon mixture is used to thicken the cooking juices, such as the Greek pork with celery and the Turkish ekşili köfte. In some Middle Eastern cuisines, it is used as a sauce for chicken or fish. Among Italian Jews, it is served as a sauce for pasta or meat.[5]

Soup

As a soup, it usually starts with chicken broth, though meat (usually lamb), fish, or vegetable broths are also used. Typically, rice, orzo, pastina, or tapioca[6] are cooked in the broth before the mixture of eggs and lemon is added. Its consistency varies from near-stew to near-broth. It is often served with pieces of the meat and vegetables reserved from the broth. Magiritsa soup is a Greek avgolemono soup of lamb offal served to break the fast of Great Lent.

The soup is usually made with whole eggs; sometimes with just yolks. The whites may be beaten into a foam separately before mixing with the yolks and lemon juice, or whole eggs may be beaten with the lemon juice. The starch of the pasta or rice contributes to stabilizing the emulsion.

History

Egg-lemon sauce may originally be a Jewish dish.[2] Agristada was made by Jews in Iberia before the expulsion from Spain with verjuice, pomegranate juice, or bitter orange juice, but not vinegar. In later periods, lemon became the standard souring agent.[3]

See also

Notes

  1. Babiniotis, Λεξικό της Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας
  2. 1 2 Aglaia Kremezi, "Lemon is a Greek perversion", Aglaia's table (blog)
  3. 1 2 Gil Marks, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, 2010, ISBN 0-470-39130-8, p. 5
  4. Maria Kaneva-Johnson, Balkan Food and Cookery, 1995, ISBN 0-907325-57-2, p. 349
  5. Joyce Esersky Goldstein, Cucina Ebraica: Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen, 1998, ISBN 0-8118-1969-8, p. 166
  6. Claudia Roden, A Book of Middle Eastern Food, 1968, ISBN 978-0-394-71948-1, p. 111

Bibliography

  • Alan Davidson, The Oxford Companion to Food, Oxford, 1999. ISBN 0-19-211579-0.
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