Learn About Eggs

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is an Egg?

An egg is an oval-shaped form of protein that comes in a shell.  The eggs we eat are mostly from chickens, but some places offer quail, duck, or ostrich eggs.  Eggs range in size, from small to extra-large and even jumbo-sized eggs.  The way the chicken who laid the egg was raised affects the way the egg is labeled.  Some common labels are cage-free and free-range.  Eggs are classified into a grading system to determine the quality of their exterior and interior, though all grades are safe to eat.

What Are the Different Grades of Egg?

  • Grade AA
  • Grade A
  • Grade B

Grade AA

Grade AA eggs are the highest quality of eggs.  Their shells are unbroken, look the best on the exterior, and are free from blemishes.  These eggs have prominent, distinctly round yolks and thick egg whites.  These eggs are best for dishes where the appearance of the egg is important.

Learn About Eggs
A cracked egg in a bowl next to whole brown eggs.

Grade A

Grade A eggs are medium-high quality eggs.  Their shells are usually of or around the same quality of Grade AA eggs.  The yolk may not be as round or the egg whites may not be as firm or thick, which means they are of slightly lower quality.  These eggs are best for mixing, cooking, and baking.

Grade B

Grade B eggs are medium quality eggs.  They may have a slightly misshapen exterior and blemishes on the shell.  The shell is usually a little thinner in some spots.  The yolks are usually not as pronounced in roundness and the whites are runnier.  These eggs are most frequently used in liquid eggs because the shape of the egg yolk or whites is not important.

How Do You Eat Eggs?

Eggs should not be eaten raw.  Eggs are often fried, poached, baked, and cooked in a variety of ways in both savory and sweet dishes.  Common ways people enjoy eggs include scrambled, hard-boiled, and over-medium.  They are a staple to dessert batters, meringues, and custards.  Eggs act as a binder in certain dishes, which is why an egg is usually added to meatballs.  When frying or deep-frying foods, dip the food in egg to help the batter stick.  

Where Can You Buy Eggs?

Look for eggs in or near the dairy section of the grocery store.

How Do You Store Eggs?

Store eggs in their original packaging in the main part of the refrigerator.

Fun Fact About Eggs

The color of egg a hen will lay may be predicted by the color of her earlobe.

Did You Know?

The difference between brown eggs and white eggs is the breed of the hen who lays the egg.

Recipes Using Eggs

Easy Egg Bake

Egg bakes are easy to make. Start with a large baking dish. In the baking dish, whisk eggs, milk, diced bell peppers, chopped onions, diced zucchini, garlic, salt, and pepper. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and bake until eggs are fully cooked. Serve with fresh parsley over the top.

Meringue Cookies

Make easy, crunchy meringue cookies with eggs. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whisk egg whites, salt, sugar, vanilla, and cream of tartar. Begin on a low speed until the mixture foams, then increase speed to high until the meringue forms stiff peaks. Use a piping bag to pipe meringue onto a baking sheet and bake for about an hour.

Easy Flan

Eggs play a large role in the making of flan. Heat sugar in a saucepan until it turns into a golden-brown liquid. Pour sugar into a baking dish. Using a whisk, beat eggs, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and evaporated milk together. Pour egg mixture into the baking dish and bake. When the flan has completely cooled, carefully turn the flan over on a plate.

Egg Salad Sandwiches

Start by hard boiling eggs in a large saucepan. When the eggs are done, place in ice water then remove the shells. Place eggs, mayonnaise, whole grain mustard, salt, pepper, celery, onion, lemon juice, and fresh dill in a large bowl. Use a fork to mash the eggs and incorporate the ingredients. Serve over bread.

French Toast

Make a sweet breakfast with eggs. Start by mixing eggs, sugar, vanilla, milk, and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Dip bread slices into the mixture and transfer to a preheated skillet. Cook until the bottom turns golden-brown, then flip with a spatula. Remove from heat when both sides are golden brown. Serve with maple syrup.

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