The egg is a damn-near perfect food: protein, vitamins, minerals and fats conspire to make it nutritionally superb. It comes in its own neat, sterile package in which it can be cooked. The elemental egg can be enjoyed on its own, or in a host of sweet and savory applications. Frittatas, omelets, and quiches can serve as wholesome snacks or elegant main dishes; custards, flans and puddings made with eggs are opulent and satisfying. And let us not forget the meringues, foam cakes (chiffon, angel food, sponge), mouses and souffles that would be impossible without egg-whites.