The extraordinary egg

In honor of Easter, this month we have decided to highlight the humble egg!

The extraordinary egg

Dear growers,

This month we’re starting something new! We are bringing you a monthly blog post about produce commonly associated with that month. This April we’ve decided to go with the humble egg.

History

- Food historians estimate we have been eating eggs for about 6 million years. Jungle birds were easy to domesticate due to their lack of wings. They made for a particularly efficient food source, capable of laying eggs as often as every 24 hours.

- It is thought that Ancient Egypt and Ancient China were the first societies to domesticate hens. If you fancy a trip to Thebes in Egypt, you will find the tomb of Harembab. This tomb dates back to 1420 BCE and illustrates a man carrying bowls of eggs as offerings.

- In ancient Rome, chickens would be consulted before going into battle. This tradition started when Roman politician, Publius Claudius Pulcher ignored his chickens and lost the Battle of Drepana against the Carthaginians. The revered chickens would not eat but he ignored the bad omen and had them tossed in the sea, saying “Since they do not wish to eat, let them drink!”. He lost the battle epically and was charged 120,000 assēs (Roman currency at the time), 1,000 for each ship Rome had lost in the battle against Carthage. He died soon after.

- As chicken merchants made their way around the world, several chicken breeds were crossed in an attempt to create the perfect animal. This experiment became the basis of key scientific discoveries around selective breeding.

- In the 1920s, the egg industry became commercialized. Hens were put in cages as small as an a4 sheet of paper, fed by conveyor belts, and given no space to run around. This is known as battery farming.

- Although battery farming continues, it has been widely protested. You can look out for the “free-range” sign on egg cartons, but unfortunately, this does not mean that the animals had the space and freedom they did prior to commercialization.

Fun facts

- Breed determines eggshell color. Commercial eggs are brown or white, but some breeds can also lay blue, green, or pink eggs.
- Eggs age more in one day at room temperature than in one week in the refrigerator so refrigerate your eggs!
- To see if an egg is fresh, put it in a glass of water. If it falls to the bottom, it is most likely safe to eat. Eggs become more porous as they age meaning they let more air through, and since air is lighter than water, the egg floats to the top.

Recipes

Eggs Benedict

Ever wondered why you’re so bad at poaching? You’re not! Its most likely the eggs you’re purchasing. Look out for grade AA eggs to ensure you’re getting the firmest egg whites on the market.


Once you’ve got your eggs, we recommend cooking along with Gordon Ramsay here.

Souffle omelette

Test your upper arm strength with Carla from Bon Appetit to make an omelette as you’ve never tasted before here.


Leftovers quiche

Use up your leftovers with this no-waste quiche from Sainsbury’s here.

Thanks for tuning in - let us know what produce you’d like to hear about next!

May 1, 2022

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