Saturday, January 19

Egging On-Freshness, Brown versus White and More

Photo courtesy I'm George on Flickr

If you thought you loved eggs, ask yourself if you'd eat this burger? Fresh from Catalonia, this sandwich is not for the egg faint-of-heart. If I were going to eat this sandwich in the US, I might ask for a pasteurized egg. If I were in Europe, I'd just eat it and shut up about my health concerns.

Egg Age Test

Perhaps eggs deserve a higher place in the literary tradition than the Humpty Dumpty genre. For example, why not write, "His heart dropped like a fresh egg in pot of cool water," or "Her spirits soared like an old egg in a pot of cool water."

Ok, so the metaphor doesn't work well for emotions (except on opposite day) but the pot of water is a handy, easy freshness test. So if your eggs have been hanging around for an indeterminate length of time in the fridge, break out the bad metaphor and double check them with a quick dunk. If they sink, eat them.

Eggshells are porous. As they age, moisture inside the egg slowly evaporates through the shell and gets replaced with air. So a dried up egg will float, and who wants a dried up egg?

The Color of Eggs
Advertising notwithstanding, here's no inherent nutritional or freshness advantages between brown or white eggs. Brown eggs come from hens with more pigmented feathers and other features, and white eggs come from hens without significant pigment in their feathers and other features. There are other varieties of hens that lay blue and speckled eggs, but it's a bit harder to pick those up at the supermarket.

There are plenty of nutritionally enhanced eggs on the market as well. If you're not a fish eater, for example, and trying to increase your Omega 3 fatty acid intake (an arterial lubricant that can help with cardiovascular health) you can get eggs from hens fed an enhanced diet. Luckily, you're on top of the food chain, so you can reap the benefits of the chicken's repast.

It's a 75 Calorie Wonder? Or Wonderbread?
A hard-boiled egg has about 75 calories, 6 grams of protein, 212 milligrams of cholesterol and about 5 grams of fat. Taken all together, it's not a bad balance and it will fill you up, but the cholesterol content of an egg represents about 70% of the recommended daily intake. All of the fat and cholesterol in the egg is in the yolk, but so is half the protein. Again it is proven that there is no free lunch.

The Quick Delicious Way to Eat a Hard Boiled Egg
Eating a hard-boiled egg need not be a simple salt and pepper affair, although that's pretty good. But it need not be a production either. Here are a couple of suggestions that I love, and the reason I like to keep a couple of hard boiled eggs in the fridge at all times.

Peel the egg, slice it in half, sprinkle it with salt and cracked pepper then drizzle with a tiny amount of olive oil. The added richness and flavor of the olive really elevates the egg.

Get the egg ready to go as above, but instead of salt and pepper, try a little Tabasco with a little olive or peanut oil. If you feel like going crazy, use a dollop of mayo instead of oil (definitely not the healthy choice, but delicious).

Again, prep your egg, then shave a little Parmesan and grind a little pepper over it. You really don't need much more than that.


  1. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Thanks for all those great tips! I can't tell you how many times the age of my eggs are unidentified and I just have to throw them away...what a waste- but no longer thanks to you!

  2. Anonymous9:35 AM

    i like cock