Be it for breakfast or dinner, from the luxurious Eggs Benedict served in five star hotels or simply boiling one at home just before leaving for office, people have been munching on eggs and its various forms since the dawn of civilization. But ironically till this day, we are yet to find a perfect way to boil an egg.
There are as many different ways of boiling an egg as there are eggs in this world.
Since 7000 BC, people in China and India have been keeping chickens and eating their eggs, in order to avoid go hunting for wild bird eggs. Eggs didn't reach West Asia, Egypt, or Europe until about 800 BC and people in Southern Africa didn't start to eat eggs until about 500 AD.
Here is the most common method of boiling an egg: heat a pot of water into a rolling boil followed by slowly and steadily lowering an egg into the water with a spoon (preferably wooden). Boil the egg for 9-13 mins uncovered and then proceed to move the egg to an ice bath to cool off. All the egg white and yolks have a pleasant texture (not rubbery).
Similar to the Standard Boil method, another common way includes bringing a pot water into rolling boil. Next the heat is turned down until water is at a rolling simmer. After that, the egg is lowered into the water and simmered uncovered for 9-13 mins followed by quickly transferring the egg into an ice bath. Not much difference is found with the Standard Boil ones when the egg is pealed and displayed.
Steaming an egg includes adding a couple inches of water to a large pot followed by placing a steamer insert inside above the water line. Cover the pot and bring the water to rolling boil. After a while, remove the cover and place the egg inside. Cover the pot once again and steam for 10-16 mins followed by transferring the egg to an ice bath to cool before peeling the shell. Difficulty is faced when peeling this egg otherwise the egg whites are silky and smooth, the yolk having a luxuriant and velvety texture.
From 5000 BC, our ancestors began roasting eggs as an alternative to eating it raw which transitioned into the traditional boiling of egg we see these days.
In ancient Rome, hard-boiled eggs were so common as an appetizer that people of that time used to say, "ab ova ad mala", from eggs to apples, meaning from the beginning of a meal to the very end.