How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


How are YOUR Eggs?

This subject has been on my mind for ages. I hope you’re wondering what kind of question this is?  It’s an ordinary one: about the eggs chickens lay.

I like to keep boiled eggs in the fridge either for a quick breakfast or to put in a salad at lunchtime. Over the past six months or so, I’ve noticed my eggs most uncooperative. I always have them come to a boil, turn down the gas and cover with a lid for ten minutes. Also, an ice water bath awaits to stop the cooking. Nothing in my process has changed in all the years I’ve been boiling eggs.

  1. Eggs are always easier to peel soon after the cold water treatment.

    If I don’t peel an egg until the next day, they don’t peel as well as they should. The skin between the egg and the shell hugs the egg too tightly. I call this separation anxiety.

  3. Let’s say I boil four eggs. One might peel more easily than the others. Why?
  4. One egg will be cracked although no crack was noticeable before boiling.
  5. The outside of one yolk may be dark grey even though they were boiled the same way in the same pot.
  6. Brown or white eggs have no nutritional difference, but for a time brown eggs peeled easier than white. Hmm.
  7. Farm eggs, from a local farmer, have a dark yellow yolk, almost orange. At least they used to. I haven’t checked in years.
  8. Grocery store eggs used to have a deep yellow yolk. I read the colour of the yolk depends on what grain is fed to the chickens. What are they feeding them? White Wonder Bread?
  9. Over time, I’ve noticed egg yolks have become lighter more like a corn silk yellow after boiling. I have no way of knowing the depth of colour before cooking.
  10. The last carton of eggs I brought home from the grocery store seems compliant. At least so far. Peeling them reminds me of previous times.

* * *Don’t get me started on the grading of eggs. Here is the link to explain the process where I live.

It used to be, I bought Large eggs. I can’t recall when or why I switched to Extra Large. I pretend like to believe I’m observant and a curious sort. I’m not sure when I graded up. Seems eggs have been shrinking and I hadn’t noticed. That’s right—shrinking. Unless my eye-sight has deteriorated since I bought new glasses last summer, I believe Extra Large eggs are the new Large.

When were chickens taught to lay smaller eggs?

  • Wait, maybe it isn’t their fault. Let’s go back to the brown and white eggs: depends which type of chicken is laying them.
  • Yolk colour depends on what chickens are fed. What are the chickens eating that causes them to lay smaller eggs with washed out yokes?
  • I read it’s not size but weight that counts for grading them. Hmm.

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Disclaimer: I am not scientific and have not used scientific means to explore my world of eggs. No farmers, chickens, or eggs were coerced in my amateur test. No money changed hands and no benefits gained. I stank at physics and never took chemistry. I am innocent of any and all finger pointing which may result. I have queried a couple of neighbours and a stranger or two, as well as a few friends. These are my results.

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About a year ago, I did a rant about shrinking food packaging which led to deceiving pricing. If you’re curious, you will find it here: