Pickled egg
Coursehors d'œuvre
Main ingredientshard-boiled egg, cured in vinegar or brine
Nutritional value per 1 egg
Energy334 kJ (80 kcal)
5.5 g
Saturated2 g
7.5 g
56 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Cholesterol210 mg
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: Calorie King
Solæg (Danish pickled eggs) and snaps

Pickled eggs are typically hard-boiled eggs that are cured in vinegar or brine. As with many foods, this was originally a way to preserve the food so that it could be eaten months later. Pickled eggs have since become a favorite among many as a snack or hors d'œuvre popular in pubs, bars, and taverns, and around the world in places where beer is served.

After the eggs are hard-boiled, the shell is removed and they are submerged in a solution of vinegar, salt, spices, and other seasonings. Recipes vary from the traditional brine solution for pickles to other solutions, which can impart a sweet or spicy taste.

The final taste is mostly determined by the pickling solution. The eggs are left in this solution from one day to several months. Prolonged exposure to the pickling solution may result in a rubbery texture. A common practice is to puncture the egg with a toothpick to allow the pickling solution to penetrate to the egg's interior, but this is dangerous as it can introduce Clostridium into the finished product.[1] Eggs prepared with this method have sometimes had high enough levels of botulinum toxin to cause illness in a human.

Pickled eggs may be served as part of a main course, hors d'œuvres, or garnishes.[2]


A variant historically associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch is the pickled beet egg where whole beets, onions, vinegar, sugar, salt, cloves, and (optionally) a cinnamon stick are used as the brine.[3] The eggs take on a pink or even purple color from the beets and have a sweet and sour taste. Pickled red beet eggs, long a common food at picnics and pot-lucks in the Pennsylvania Dutch country, have diffused into the folk cuisine of the surrounding "English" and become a popular snack that can be bought in supermarkets as far east as the Delaware River.

A typical British recipe for pickled eggs includes eggs, vinegar, salt, and sugar. The eggs are first boiled, peeled, then boiled with the other ingredients. They last for three to four months (for best quality)[4] and are traditionally found in British public houses[5] and fish and chip shops.



In Germany, pickled eggs were commonly made and eaten. German emigrants took this practice with them when they moved to the New World. An example of a German migration to the New World includes the Hessian mercenaries who fought against the British colonial rebels in the American War of Independence. Some of the Hessians later settled in the newly independent country.

United States

Even before the arrival of the Hessians, however, German-speaking Anabaptist refugees, who are by now commonly called the Amish, had brought their particular variation of the pickled egg to Pennsylvania. The so-called Pennsylvania Dutch created the pickled beet egg, where beets were added to the recipe turning the eggs into a pinkish color. The beet adds a contrast in flavor creating both a sweet and sour taste. In the 1940s, pickled eggs became very popular, as they were advertised in newspapers as lollipops, and wives were encouraged to make them on a skewer as a creative appetizer.

In November 1959, Hingham and Gibbsville students held a celebrated Veterans Day within their area. Larry Shaver dressed up as Mr. H.D Hyde, to honor him as the leader of Hingham's egg industry while shipping over 10 rail carloads of pickled eggs at one time. Pickled eggs were popular around Easter as an added way to celebrate the season.[6] Today, pretzels and chips are a more common snack for a restaurant and bars, but pickled eggs are still found in rural locations in the United States and presented in a jar at some bars.

Ways to serve pickled eggs

The traditional method of eating pickled eggs is with salt and pepper. People will often add food coloring to the solution so that they are more festive. They are also commonly eaten on avocado toast as well as in an egg salad.[7] Pickled eggs can be served wherever hard-boiled eggs are served. For example, they can be used to make pickled deviled eggs or grated over asparagus or salads.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "Foodborne Botulism From Eating Home-Pickled Eggs --- Illinois, 1997". Cdc.gov. Archived from the original on 1 July 2020. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Washington State University EB1104" (PDF). Cru.cahe.wsu.edu. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 September 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Pickled Red Beet Eggs Recipe by Jann". Cookeatshare.com. Archived from the original on 5 December 2019. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  4. ^ "National Center for Home Food Preservation | How Do I? Pickle". Nchfp.uga.edu. Archived from the original on 2016-11-21. Retrieved 2016-06-18.
  5. ^ Tom Cutler, 211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do, ISBN 978-0007778430
  6. ^ Dippel, Beth. "Hingham was home of famous pickled egg". Wisconsin State Farmer. Archived from the original on 6 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  7. ^ "Pickled Eggs Recipe". Love & Lemons. 25 March 2021. Archived from the original on 23 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  8. ^ Kleiman, Evan (7 November 2012). "Ask Evan: What Should I Do With Pickled Eggs?". KCRW. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 31 March 2022.