Dear Truffler: deep-fried eggs, chain-mail gloves, lemon tarts

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I read a restaurant review recently that mentioned deep-fried eggs. I got the impression the yolk was runny and the outside covered in breadcrumbs and crisp, and that it was still roughly egg shaped rather than fried-egg shaped. Ever since, I've been wondering how you deep fry an egg. Any idea how I'd go about it?

I read a restaurant review recently that mentioned deep-fried eggs. I got the impression the yolk was runny and the outside covered in breadcrumbs and crisp, and that it was still roughly egg shaped rather than fried-egg shaped. Ever since, I've been wondering how you deep fry an egg. Any idea how I'd go about it?

Peggy Phillips, Chester

I, too, remember enjoying and being amazed by a similar-sounding egg at The Glasshouse restaurant in Kew a couple of years ago. This one was truffled, an effect they achieve by storing the fresh eggs in a jar with a black truffle. The shells are permeable enough for the egg to take on the heady perfume and taste of the truffle. Chef Anthony Boyd explains that first you must poach the egg in water with a dash of vinegar (never salt). The water should be boiling, but not too vigorously. When the egg is half cooked, take it out with a slotted spoon and plunge gently into iced water. Then leave it in the fridge until it sets and you can handle it. Trim the white so it's a tidy golf-ball shape and dip in flour, then in beaten egg, then in fine breadcrumbs. Leave in the fridge until you want to deep fry it. Pop it in the fryer for only about 40 seconds, long enough to warm the inside without cooking it further and setting the yolk, and to crisp the coating. The Glasshouse serves deep-fried truffled egg with a warm salad of wood pigeon. Boyd admits, "It's quite difficult to make at home if you don't know what you're doing."

Where can I get a chain-mail glove to open my oysters?

David Lim, Edinburgh

I'd never heard of such an accessory, and frankly it sounds a little pervy. Incidentally, the glove doesn't open the oysters, obviously; you wear it while carrying out this high-risk gourmet activity. But it turns out it does exist. After trying the usually fail-safe suspects, John Lewis and Lakeland, I took a leap into the unknown, and found one on a website called La Gondola ( www.lagondola.it), whose message rather reinforces my suspicion that this is a kinky request. It boasts that its products "remind us that commodity fetishism isn't necessarily bad, so long as the commodity is worth fetishising". The oyster glove and knife is a bank-balance-damaging $208, or €240.67 (£145). It comes with one of those lethal pointed knives for the actual opening. La Gondola has a toll-free number – 00800 5871993. Given the price it's charging for a glove, I should think so, too. If you're serious about opening oysters rather than wanting to dress up like a knight of the seafood table, the knack is to insert the knife into the small gap near the hinge and twist it once.

Why are supermarkets so frustrating? I bought some tiny lemon tarts in a box, made by Bonne Maman, the French jam people, and they were delish. Can I find them again? I rotate between Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Tesco, can't remember which of the three I bought them in, and have looked high and low in each to no avail.

Liz Keegan, Middlesex

Do you take me for your personal shopper? On second, more generous thoughts, that is virtually what I'm supposed to be, and I so know that feeling of trying to pinpoint exactly what you're looking for along the endless aisles. I checked with Sainsbury's on 0800 636 262 – their number for customers, on which a helpful person at the other end will tell you what's in your branch – who said they should be in your nearest store, but didn't know exactly where. Biscuits, perhaps. Seems to me that's only half the answer you want. Waitrose stocks them, too. The Bonne Maman tartelettes au citron are £1.09 for eight, individually wrapped, and are definitely in the biscuits section – not with the other jam and lemon tarts.

E-mail truffler@independent.co.uk or write to Dear Truffler, 'The Independent', 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS. Sorry I can't reply personally

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