Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Uptown Westerville Farmers' Market: The Egg Quiz

Test Your Egg I.Q.

1. Without breaking it open, how can you tell if an egg is fresh?

a. Carefully feel the shell - if it has soft spots, the egg is rotten.

b. Hold the egg up to your ear and shake it.  if you hear the yolk sloshing around inside, the egg is still fresh.  A silent egg is a rotten egg.

c. Drop the egg in a glass of water.  If it sinks to the bottom and lays on its side, it's fresh.  If it sinks to the bottome and "stands" on one end, it's old, but probably still edible.  If it floats, it's rotten.

2. Which part of the egg is known as the "chalazae"?

a. The protective coating on the outside of the shell.

b. The membraine separating the yolk from the white.

c. The thin strands of egg white that connect the yolk to the shell.

3. What's the difference between Grade A and Grade AA eggs?

a. Grade AA ggs contain twice as much Vitamin A, because the hens get a diet of fortified chicken feed.

b. Grade AA eggs have plumper yolks and thicker whites.

c. Grade AA hens, also known as "yearlings" or "freshmen" hens, are younger a healthier than the hens that lay Grade A eggs.

4. What's the best way to store an egg in the refrigerator?

a. With the tapered end pointing up.

b. With the tapered end pointing down.

c. Neither - eggs keep best when they're lying on their side.

5. Without breaking it open, how can you tell if an egg is cooked?

a. Spin it on a flat surface - raw eggs wobble; cooked ones don't.

b. Hold it up to a bright light - eggshells that have been cooked for seven minutes or longer are slightly transparent.

c. Carefully examine the shell - it's physically impossible to boil an egg without cracking the shell in at least one place.

Answers below....

Fresh eggs at Market Wednesday! Stop by Carousel Watergardens Farm at the Uptown Westerville Farmers' Market.

Egg I.Q. Test Answers:

1. c.

Egg shells are porous - as a egg ages, moisture escapes and is replaced by outside air, causing it to become more buoyant over time.  Fresh eggs contain the least air and sit right at the bottom.  Rotten eggs contain so much air that they float right to the top.

2. c.

Also known as "chalazae cords," these strands connect the yolk to the ends of the eggshell; the resulting "tug-of-war" helps to reduce movement and keep the yolk centered inside the egg.

3. b.

Grade A and AA are the FDA's two highest egg classifications.  They have nothing to do with the size, freshness, or vitamin content of the egg - they indicate the quality of the egg white and yolk.  Grade AA eggs, slightly higher in quality, have the plumpest yolks and the thickest whites.

4. b.

There's a pocket of air in the larger end of the egg and it's the most likely source of contamination from foreign bacteria.  Storing the egg with the tapered end pointing down causes the yolk - which is more perishable than the white - to settle toward the tapered end, as far away from the air pocket as possible.  When the egg is stored with the tapered end up, the yolk can settle right on top of the pocket, potentially speeding the rate at which the egg will spoil.

5. a.

Raw eggs wobble because the white and yolk are still fluid and move around inside the egg when you spin it.  Cooked eggs are at least partially solidified and have a much smoother spin.

How did you do?  Eggsellent!! (Sorry, we couldn't resist.)

From: Uncle John's Supremely Satisfying Bathroom Reader, by the Bathroom Readers' Institute, Bathroom Readers' Press, Ashland, Oregon. Copyright 2001, page 61.

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