eggs

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Ok, so we don’t actually have the answer to that question.  My guess is the chicken.  BUT, we do have some great information for you about those dichromatic ovoids that we call eggs.  More specifically, the  free-range egg.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you have visions of little eggs that have sprouted legs running happily through the grass like miniature Humpty-Dumpty’s.  But that’s not what we mean by “free-range eggs”.  What we mean is eggs that come from free-range hens; that is, hens that are allowed to spend their days roaming around, pecking nutrient-rich goodies from the ground to their bellies’ content.  These eggs are far superior to the conventional ones you may find sitting under the fluorescent lights of your nearest grocery store, and here is why: nutritionally, free-range eggs contain 7 times more beta-carotene, 3 times more vitamin E, 2/3 more vitamin A, and 2 times more Omega-3s than conventional eggs.

There are a couple of tell-tale signs that you have a fresh, free-range egg on your hands (or on your plate!).  Check to see if you notice these differences in your next egg:

A free-range egg has a yolk that is deep yellow, or almost orange, as opposed to the pale yellow yolk of a conventional egg.  That great color is from all of that beta-carotene the hen is getting through the yummy greens she eats.

All eggs are formed with a white spot attached to the yolk, called the chalazae.  This little guy holds the yolk in the center of the egg.  However, the chalazae are often suspiciously absent from conventional eggs.  This is because they are absorbed over time by the white of the egg.  If you see the chalazae, you know you’ve got a fresh egg!  It is a misconception that the chalazae is a sign of a fertile egg, or of an embryo.

When you crack open some eggs, you may find a small dark spot on the yolk.  These are called “blood spots”, and they occur in less than 1% of all eggs.  They do not indicate a fertilized egg, but are actually caused by the rupture of a blood vessel on the yolk surface during formation.  Like the chalazae, these blood spots are absorbed as the egg ages, so you will rarely find them in a conventional egg.  By the way, an egg with one of these spots is perfectly safe to eat!

Have you ever tried to peel a fresh egg that has been hard boiled?  It most likely left you frustrated, holding a very ugly and mutilated egg in your hand.  Some tips for boiling fresh eggs:
Store them in the fridge for a week or so before boiling.
Add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water.
Immediately after boiling, move the eggs to a bowl of ice-cold water.
These tips may help…they may not.  Let us know what works for you!

And now, to close out this blog, an egg joke:
How can you tell if it’s too hot in the hen house?

The hens are laying hard-cooked eggs!

Ok, one more:
What do you call an egg white with cowboy boots?

A western omelette!

Haha.  I hope you enjoyed that!