Armadillo Eggs Aren't What They Sound Like

While a heaping pile of scrambled chicken eggs might not score you a ton of points at your next backyard barbecue, a plate full of armadillo eggs is sure to make you the most popular party guest around. You may be thinking, "How am I supposed to prepare armadillo eggs when I didn't even know that armadillos laid eggs?" Fret not! To make this deliciously meaty Texan treat, you need very little armadillo-related knowledge — other than the fact that armadillos j don't lay eggs.

Armadillo eggs are a twist on the scotch egg, a quintessential English snack that is made by coating a boiled egg with pork sausage and breadcrumbs before frying it to perfection. Requiring no eggs at all, however, an armadillo egg centers on the jalapeño popper, another Texas-born snack that's made by coring a jalapeño and stuffing it with a combination of cream cheese and cheddar cheese. With the stuffed jalapeño acting as the gooey, yolk-like center, an armadillo egg is crafted by encasing the stuffed jalapeño in pork sausage and wrapping it in a shell of bacon.

How the armadillo egg came to be

The history of the armadillo egg is somewhat hazy, but most agree that it's a delicacy that has Texas written all over it. The first printed record of the spicy dish appeared in an article promoting an armadillo festival in a 1972 edition of the Victoria, Texas Advocate. Before that, legend has it that an early variation of the armadillo egg was a cowboy's favorite way to fuel up after a long day tending to the ranch. And while it's derived from the Scotch egg, the word on the street is that the armadillo egg got its moniker because of its hard armadillo-like shell of crispy bacon.

As is true with most regionally famous fare, everyone seems to have their spin on this Southern delicacy. While some prefer to fry their armadillo eggs, others opt to bake them or, in a nod to the cowboys, cook them over an open flame. Others like to fancy up their cheese choice, substituting tangier goat cheese for traditional cream cheese. But no matter how you cook yours, like the Scotch eggs, Armadillo eggs travel well and are an easy grab-and-go finger food and a perfect picnic treat.