Apparently, Acadiana Has Really Strong Opinions on Eggnog
As soon as the holiday season hits, so does the eggnog.
The custard-like seasonal drink is a mix of egg, cream, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and (sometimes) booze (like rum or whiskey). You see it all over - in supermarkets, daiquiri shops, and recipe blogs - and there is an incredible number of takes on the drink.
What Are People Saying?
When we asked on Facebook how people prefer their eggnog, the results were mixed at best - and in some places divisive.
Those who like eggnog largely prefer it cold, and in some cases frozen. Louisiana, being the daiquiri-friendly place it is (seriously, the drive-thru daiquiri shop phenomenon largely unique to this state is just fantastic), has plenty of opportunities for folks to enjoy frozen eggnog.
Others say they like it cold, though some prefer homemade while others will buy brands like Borden's (non-alcoholic) or Pennsylvania Dutch (which you can find in most grocery stores).
"Thick, cold, and boozy with lots of artery-clogging heavy cream," one person commented.
"Borden’s or Promised Land, with nutmeg and bourbon," another said. "Cold."
There were some who prefer it warm, including one person who said they use it in their coffee.
"I put it in my coffee like creamer," they explained. "Makes my coffee taste a little special for the holiday."
If you like the flavor profile, but maybe don't drink it, there are alternatives. For example, one comment mentioned using it to make breakfast.
"French toast with roasted pecans," they said, which just seems like a fantastic idea. "French bread soaked in eggnog. Bake or fried."
There Are Plenty of Haters
However, there are several people who were quick to say "No thanks" to the drink - and some were harsher than that.
"Still at the store lol," someone else said. "Not my cup o coffee."
According to Vox.com, it's actually a pretty divisive drink - especially when it comes to the "egg" part.
Those uninitiated in the tradition of eggnog tend to fear the “egg” part. I feel similarly — the thought of sipping on eggs made me recoil as a kid, and still gives me pause now. However, the FDA is very cautious about products containing eggs and milk. Their definitions show there is a fine but defined line between what can be called “eggnog” and what is actually considered “eggnog-flavored milk.” The former is “a milk product consisting of a mixture of milk or milk products of at least 6.0 percent butterfat, at least 1.0 percent egg yolk solids, sweetener, and flavoring,” while the latter is “a milk product consisting of a mixture of at least 3.25 percent butterfat, at least 0.5 percent egg yolk solids, sweetener, and flavoring.”
So it’s not like you’ll actually be consuming straight up yolk when you go for a carton of eggnog. Plus, most store-bought versions contain pasteurized eggs, which are heated to kill dangerous bacteria. Salmonella is always a potential risk when consuming raw eggs, but alcohol can eradicate any bacteria remaining in the eggs, so it may be even safer to drink when aged with alcohol over time. In fact, microbiologists at Rockfeller’s Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology proved that aged eggnog is safe in a 2010 experiment. They purposely added salmonella to the raw eggs used in the lab’s recipe. After about three weeks in the alcoholic concoction, the salmonella was no longer present.
Booze or No Booze - and What Kind?
You can get the drink with no alcohol whatsoever, and it's definitely more of a dessert than a drink. But adding alcohol seems to be a preference for those who drink the seasonal treat.
Whether it's bourbon/whiskey, rum, or something else, there are plenty of folks who love serving the spiked drink at Christmas parties. As mentioned in the excerpt above, there may also be a benefit, if the alcohol does, in fact, kill any bacteria from the eggs that go into the drink.
How Do You Nog?
Whether you like yours hot, cold, or "in the trash," eggnog is a regular staple during the holidays. It's almost impossible to avoid coming across it. If you haven't given it a try before, maybe you should!