Cracking Diamond Jubilee recipes

Fifty years after their heyday, eggs are back in vogue with A-list celebrities championing them as a slimming aid and industry experts predicting bumper sales during the Diamond Jubilee weekend.

But while the great British egg may have a long history, it’s been brought up to date with a new series of contemporary summer recipes featuring on Spanish-style tortilla, served hot or cold, is a modern addition to any street party, while potted egg and cress are equally delicious as a dip sauce or sandwich filling on a summer picnic.  

They have had their ups and downs since the Queen’s coronation, but today, egg sales are rising with shoppers turning to eggs as a low-cost protein source during the recession. It’s a contrast to the early days of the Queen’s reign – in 1952, a dozen eggs cost around 5 shillings, the equivalent of around £6 a dozen today.   

Despite the high price, eggs were a staple in 50s households and their popularity continued to rise as the ‘Go to Work on an Egg’ ad starring Tony Hancock hit TV screens in 1957. The classic ads may be more than fifty years old, but the message is still relevant today as celebs and health experts return to eggs due to their ability to keep us fit and healthy.

An egg history

  • 1952: Queen Elizabeth II crowned – eggs still rationed to around two a week.
  • 1953: Eggs come off rationing.
  • 1957: The ‘Little’ Lion mark is introduced and the ‘Go to work on an egg’ advertising campaign is launched.
  • 1960s: UK egg consumption peaks at nearly 5 per person per week.
  • 1960/70s: 'Cholesterol hypothesis' emerges - dietary cholesterol in foods like eggs was linked to an increased risk of heart disease (this is now recognised to have been a gross oversimplification).
  • 1970s: Egg consumption begins to fall.
  • 1988: Health Minister Edwina Currie announces that most UK egg production is affected by salmonella. Egg sales drop by 60% overnight.
  • 1998: The Lion mark is reintroduced to signify British eggs produced to higher standards of food safety including vaccination of hens against salmonella.
  • 2000: Egg sales start rising again
  • 2009: Limits on egg consumption are lifted by all UK health and heart advisory bodies.
  • 2012: Retail egg sales rise 4% in a year