Devilled eggs can be traced back to ancient Rome, where eggs were boiled, seasoned with spicy sauces and then typically served at the beginning of a meal—as a first course known as gustatio—for wealthy patricians.
A collection of Roman recipes believed to have been compiled sometime between the fourth and fifth century A.D., boiled eggs were traditionally seasoned with oil, wine or broth and served with pepper and laser (which was also known as silphium, a plant driven to extinction by the first century A.D.). Another recipe called for poached eggs to be dressed with soaked pine nuts, lovage (an herb of the parsley family with an anise, celery flavor), pepper, honey, vinegar and broth.
Sometime in the 13th century, stuffed eggs began to appear in Andalusia, in what is now Spain.
By the 15th century, stuffed eggs had made their way across much of Europe. Medieval cookbooks contain recipes for boiled eggs various fillings. In the United States, stuffed eggs began making an appearance in cookbooks by the mid-19th century.
The first known printed mention of ‘devil’ as a culinary term appeared in Great Britain in 1786. By 1800, deviling became a verb to describe the process of making food spicy.
A recipe from Fannie Farmer’s 1896 “Boston Cooking-School Cookbook” was one of the earliest to suggest the use of mayonnaise as a binder for the filling.

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