Food & Drink

Eggs: They really are all they're cracked up to be

Eggs serve so many functions in the kitchen.

Most baking recipes require them. Many cooks will only bake with brown eggs because they think they produce a better final product. They're wrong. There is no difference.

Contrary to popular belief, shell and yolk color do not indicate an egg's quality or flavor. Shell color is determined by the hen's breed. There also appears to be some correlation between egg shell color and the color of the hen's feathers and skin around her face.

In general, hens with white feathers and white ear lobes lay white eggs, and those with red feathers and red lobes lay brown eggs.

Yolk color depends on diet. Hens fed yellow cornmeal lay yellow-yolk eggs. If they eat marigold petals, the egg yolks will be orange. A hen requires 24 to 26 hours to produce an egg, then 30 minutes later she starts the process over again.

After the eggs are collected and washed, they're "candled," or passed over high-intensity lights.

This process reveals any internal and external characteristics or defects in the eggs without actually breaking them.

Based on the results of the candling process, the eggs are then sorted by grade.

Eggs are a bit high in cholesterol. But they still play a part in a healthy diet and are one of the best forms of protein you can eat.

The arrival of autumn is a wonderful time to try new ways to prepare eggs.

Port Royal resident Ervena Faulkner is a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at features@beaufortgazette.com.

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