The Chicken and the Egg

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Over the centuries there have been several clever answers to the conundrum, Which came first: the chicken or the egg? The Church Fathers sided with the chicken, pointing out that according to Genesis, God first created the creatures, not their reproductive apparatus. The Victorian Samuel Butler awarded the egg overall priority when he said that a chicken is just an egg’s way of making another egg. About one point, however, there is no dispute: eggs existed long before chickens did. Ultimately, we owe our soufflés and sunny-sides-up to the invention of sex.