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Often known as an egg server, the egg cup is a simple dish that is designed to hold a boiled egg in an upright position. While egg cups are available in a number of colors and styles, the basic design for the most popular version of the cup is the same in all cases. With a bowl section for the egg and a pedestal that is usually referred to as a footie, an egg cup can rest easily on a plate or directly on a place mat.
An alternative version of the egg cup is structured with a bowl designed to hold the egg in place. However, no pedestal is present. Instead the bottom portion of this type of cup is simple a larger bowl that is inverted and serves as a foundation. When turned over, the inverted egg cup can double as a dessert cup.
The main function of an egg server is to hold the egg in place while the top of the shell is tapped and opened. Once the top portion of the shell is removed, it is possible to salt and pepper the hard- or soft-boiled egg and scoop out the contents with a spoon. The bottom section of the shell can be discarded with ease once the contents are consumed.
Both types of egg cups are manufactured from a variety of materials. China and glass are two of the more popular options for egg servers, especially when setting a more formal breakfast table. Pottery egg dishes, such a terracotta versions, are excellent options for a casual table. As an added bonus, pottery servers help to keep the boiled eggs warmer during consumption. Pewter and similar metals are also popular, as are simple plastic styles in a variety of colors.
An egg cup works equally well with hard boiled eggs and soft boiled eggs. While a certain degree of expertise is required to crack the shell at just the right point to make an opening in the top of the egg, the cup keeps the body of the egg from shifting, making it much easier and neater to consume the egg.
Like many types of dishware, egg cups are readily available from many retail stores. Simple plastic versions are found at most discount retails stores, while pewter, china, and pottery styles are often found at high-end department stores and restaurant supply businesses. The less expensive types work very well for regular use and can be replaced with ease. Costlier versions tend to hold up well for longer periods of time, and are ideal for use when entertaining houseguests or holding a formal breakfast or brunch.