There's an old Jewish saying my grandfather used to tell me that went something like this: "If you want three opinions, ask two Jews."
This still holds true today. I know because I tested it out myself by seeking the answer to something as simple as roasting an egg for Passover.
First the How:
* The more traditional claim the best way to roast an egg is to boil it first.
Believers in this technique are concerned with how messy the egg can get if you don't boil it first. Once boiled, place the egg either in the oven or on top of the gas burners so it gets a bit charred. This method also works well with electric ranges.
* A second method stems from those who are more green-minded and concerned with conserving electricity.
Simply prick both ends of the egg with a pin to permit venting and place the raw egg, shell and all, in a 325-degree oven. In about twenty minutes or so, cracks will begin to appear. Your egg will be slightly charred and ready.
* The most adventurous (and least traditional) consider grilling their eggs rather than roasting them.
Position the egg in its shell on the grill, making sure it doesn't roll around. Once it begins to sweat (you'll be able to see little droplets of liquid form on the shell) gently turn it. Continue grilling and occasionally turning for 10 to 12 minutes. You'll be rewarded with a hard-boiled egg that has a pleasant smoky smell and taste.
Now the Why:
Passover is a traditional holiday of freedom, spanning eight days (seven for those living in Israel). It celebrates the exodus of the Jews enslaved in Egypt under Pharaoh Ramses II. The Seder is a feast for family and friends, chock-full of symbolic foods served to remind participants of this time in Jewish history.
The symbolic foods are placed on a special dish called The Seder Plate. It is here where you will find the Matzohs, (symbolizing the bread the Israelites didn't have time to let rise), and the Charoset, (the delicious mixture of apples, cinnamon, walnuts and wine symbolizing the mortar the Hebrew slaves used to erect Ramses' buildings). The Beitzah, a roasted egg, is also placed on the plate. The fact that it is charred symbolizes the sacrifice made in the holy temple in Jerusalem in biblical times. The egg itself represents the cycle of life, renewal and fertility.
Thanks to the many different opinions Jewish people have, next Passover you'll be able to choose from three different ways to roast your egg. And no matter which method you choose, you'll be more prepared to understand and explain its significance.