We mostly don't even notice our little eggs. They are so commonly eaten:fried, boiled, basted or scrambled, in cookies, cakes or fine custards, in sauces or shakes. However, I urge you to take them more seriously, because each egg is not alike.
A good chef knows that before you even consider cooking an egg you need to know that you have a tasty specimen.
Why should you care? Well, because better quality food tastes better and gives you better cooking results. Ever tried to poach an egg and you've ended up with egg soup instead? Your eggs may have been too old to hold together nicely in the boiling water.
Here are some fun eggytastic tests...
1. Does the egg float in water? If it does it's toast, air develops in the egg as it gets older. Good eggs sink just like witches. (It's still edible as long as it smells okay, just not ideal)
2. Does the egg white hold together like a jellyfish? The more solid the better.
3. Does the yolk stand up? If it does it's fresher.
4. Thick shell = less water escaping the egg & less bacteria entering the egg = better
A few extra notes on eggs...
The colour of the egg yolk is determined by mom's diet. Carotenoids in corn mash, grass or alfalfa give the yolk its orange colour and are very good for the chicken. Chickens fed on barley or cheaper pale feed have pale yolks.
Spring is said to be the best season for quality eggs as this is the natural birthing season, summer the least because of the heat.
It's important to buy local free range eggs. Why? Because the chicken is allowed to be a chicken and run about. The birds are less stressed, so their shells are generally thicker. As well, they should eat more grass and worms which makes for orange vitamin rich eggs for you to enjoy. Not all free range are alike though as Canada's food labeling and quality standards are not air tight. Buy local because the closer the egg is to you the fresher it will be.
Here are some suggestions:
Maple Hill Farms - $4.99-5.99 price free range - consistently excellent egg quality - best price at Windsor Meats on Main St.
Rabbit River Farms - $5.49-5.99 - my aunt has seen these chickens and they are definitely free range - I've had some problems with consistent quality on these though.
I know, free range seems expensive, but consider the price of a can of pop vs the nutritional value you get out of a good egg. We need to start paying our farmers for producing good food. The End