Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Some Things I Know About Eggs

Fresh-laid eggs are best. They're fine for scrambling, frying, or baking.  But here's what I always say when I bring a carton of eggs as a hostess gift:  if you're planning to hard-boil them, or whip the whites for a souffle, you need to age them a bit.  Leaving them on the counter overnight should do it.

The color of the shell indicates nothing other than the breed of the bird.  A pure-white shell may come from a happily pastured hen, and a brown or blue or green one from a hen kept in a cage.

If you break open an egg and the yolk is a shockingly bright orange, congratulations!  It means the hen has been out on grass, which has transmitted its gift of carotene to the bird, and now to you.

If you break open an egg and find a slight red spot in the yolk, don't freak.  It is NOT an embryo. It just means that a tiny blood vessel ruptured as the egg traveled down the oviduct.  It will vanish without a trace in cooking.

According to Temple Grandin, laying hens are the most abused of all farm animals http://www.grandin.com/inc/animals.make.us.human.ch7.html.  If you find it in your heart to care about the welfare of chickens, spend an extra few cents and buy eggs from cage-free hens.

Hens are bright, warm-hearted creatures, not mere egg-making machines.   Let us try to see beyond the egg on our plate to the living, questing being that laid it.

7 comments :

  1. If and when I buy eggs, I do buy the ones from chickens that have been allowed to roam around free, but what does that mean? Many thousands of chickens in a barn? The organic eggs are better, but many are labeled so, when the chickens have never actually been allowed to roam free outside. It's all a bit of a scam I'm afraid.

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  2. There are no guarantees, I agree. The best thing is to buy eggs from the farmer down the road, whose chickens you know personally...but not many people are able to do that.

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  3. I like this post. I like bright, orange yolks. Lately, I've had some double yolks...

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  4. Those double yolks are a sign that you're living right, Indigo.

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  5. My eggs come from our CSA. I will buy some things in the store, but not eggs and meat, not anymore. It's not the farmer "Down the road" but the three chicken farmers in our CSA are within 50 miles and do the right thing. I've met them. There is an open invitation to visit their farms--I haven't yet, but I have visited the pork farmer.

    Thank you, though for the red speck tidbit. Because I always kind of wondered about that and looked the other way.

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  6. CSAs are so wonderful. I hope they spread and spread.

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  7. Thanks! Clarified a few things. -- Elizabeth

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