Deviled eggs, a popular picnic food, are sometimes slippery and tend to slide around on a conventional plate. The deviled egg platter is a serving tray with dips in it that allow the eggs to rest securely on the surface. They are available in many materials and varieties, from a delicate china plate to a sturdy plastic travel model. A deviled egg platter has more uses than simply eggs, however.
The term "deviled" first appeared in the 18th century, referring to food that was heavily laced with hot spices. In those days, seasonings often acted as a preservative or even to disguise the taste of spoiled food. Deviling was thought to be an allusion to the fires of Hell, where presumably any food available would be hot and peppery. Stuffed eggs have been served since the 15th century.
The main characteristic of a deviled egg platter is the depressions that hold the eggs in place. There are usually twelve to correspond with packages of a dozen eggs, but larger plates may have more. Egg holders can be used to separate condiments, garnishes and even sushi ingredients. Some platters have a center space for matching salt and pepper shakers. Larger varieties can double as appetizer platters and hold numerous types of finger foods.
A deviled egg platter may be made of several different types of material. Fancy china egg plates are sometimes handed down through generations. Most people are familiar with the cheap plastic variety available in various discount stores. Egg platters made from heavier plastic can have handles and lids for easy travel to a picnic or barbecue.
When putting together a large appetizer platter or serving tray, the deviled egg platter can be placed in the center. A garnish such as lettuce or kale tucked around the platter will give the snack tray color, and cold cuts or cheese can then fill in the space around the eggs. Flowers are a nice touch to a platter, but artistic food enthusiasts should be careful to use non-toxic varieties such as carnations.
Those with an extra deviled egg platter or two may find other creative uses for them. Plastic platters make good paint palettes that wash off easily. Some people like to keep small jewelry items in a fancy platter on their bedroom dressers. The dips in the plate keep rings and earrings from sliding off and getting lost. For sewing and hobby enthusiasts, a platter holds buttons, hooks and sewing notions and small craft supplies within easy reach.