From Biscuits to Churches: How Eggs Are Used for Cooking and Building

Did you know that egg whites were once used in building churches?

eggs
PHOTO BY spot.ph team

(SPOT.ph) Eggs, specifically the ones we get from chickens, are a staple in almost every kitchen. It can be served hardboiled, scrambled, fried, or as an omelet. Egg white is used for making meringue, while the yolk is an ingredient for leche flan. For Atching Lilian Borromeo, eggs are an integral part of Pampanga's heirloom cookies: Pan de San Nicolas.

But before we ramble off every other egg dish we love, you should know that eggs (or at least egg whites) are also used in building churches. Back in the 1800s, egg whites were used as emulsifiers for concrete. It forms a sort of mortar, known as argamasa, which binded and protected the building materials used to construct the churches. Apparently, the egg whites make it more durable, and knowing how many typhoons, earthquakes, and fires these churches have withstood, it seems pretty effective.

Some of the Pampanga churches that use this technique are the Holy Rosary Parish Church in Angeles City, San Guillermo Church in Bacolor, St. James the Apostle Church in Guagau, and St. Augustine Church in Lubao.

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In the Visayas, the Archdiocesan Shrine and Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel in Argao, Cebu is well-known for using egg whites and coral stone for its structure. This is also why the town developed the La Torta de Argao, a delicacy made of flour, sugar, lard, tuba, and—of course—egg yolks.

Check out Studio Spot's video on this cool bit of Philippine history involving eggs, churches, and desserts:

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