Sure as Eggs is Eggs!

By Robert Harland
Weekend treat

Weekend treat

I look forward to breakfast at weekends. On  Saturdays and Sundays it’s two tasty boiled eggs accompanied by toasted bread – the best in Bacolod from Honey Grace’s bakery.

But delight can turn to disgust when the eggs are bad. Eggs can be the source of some superb meals, but they can also be the source of food poisoning if they are eaten when they’ve gone bad. Having had a bout of food poisoning recently, I am very wary these days.

Eggs in Negros tend to be a bit bland and the hens loaded with all kinds of chemicals and antibiotics. Eggs here also tend to have thin shells as I understand the hens have little calcium intake.

I was delighted therefore a few months ago in my local market to find a lady selling free range brown eggs. So far so good, but on Sunday I almost threw up after a spoonful of what was obviously a bad egg.

This prompted me to do some research and I now have a note on my kitchen wall to check all eggs. I tested the remaining  eggs from the market and all showed to be at least three weeks old, so I guess the lady has lost a customer.

Fresh or bad? Do the water test.

Fresh or bad? Do the water test.

Here’s the test. Place the egg into a bowl of cold water. The water level should be about 2 times higher than the egg.

Observe what the egg does.

  • Fresh eggs will sink to the bottom of the bowl and probably lie on their sides.
  • Slightly older eggs (about one week) will lie on the bottom but bob slightly.
  • If the egg balances on its smallest tip, with the large tip reaching for the top, it’s probably close to three weeks old.
  • Eggs that float at the surface are bad and should not be consumed.

When cracking an egg open, look carefully to see if there is any mold or something unusual.

How fresh are your eggs?

How fresh are your eggs?

Blood spots (also referred to as “meat” spots) don’t signify a bad or fertilized egg. It’s caused by a ruptured blood vessel during the formation of the egg. Since blood spots are diluted as the egg ages, their presence actually means you have a fresh egg. You can eat it safely, or remove the blood spot with the tip of a knife, if it makes you feel better.

Stringy, rope-like strands of egg white are chalazae which are present in every egg to keep the yolk centered. They’re not a sign that the egg is bad or fertilized and they can be consumed safely or removed.

An egg white that is cloudy or has a yellow or greenish cast to it is caused by carbon dioxide not having enough time to escape from the shell and is especially common in fresh eggs.

Bon Appétit! And if you know any anyone selling fresh, free range eggs, please let me know.


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