Whether they’re Benedict, baked, or hard-boiled, Americans sure love eggs. In fact, just last year, we ate 2.7 TRILLION of them, according to the Incredible Egg. But our favorite breakfast protein is hiding some fun facts. Did you know that most eggs are laid between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m.? Or why some eggs float and others sink? Read on to discover more egg-citing facts and learn why eggs are all they’re cracked up to be.
america’s egg basket
According to the American Egg Board, Iowa is the leading producer of eggs in the United States with more than 54,000 hens and 8,000 employees hard at work. Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania are the next top three producers. According to the Incredible Egg, across the country, 251 million eggs are laid each day.
inspiring chefs’ hats
According to The Culinary Institute of America the folds in a chef’s hat — officially called a toque — supposedly represent the many ways he or she can prepare eggs.
they’re Good for you
At about 70 calories, eggs are a natural form of portion control. They have about 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat along with iron, vitamins, minerals and carotenoids and disease-fighting nutrients like lutein. And unlike many breakfast items, they have zero carbs and zero sugar.
what color you can expect
You might not believe it, but it’s true: chickens have earlobes. Furthermore, you can use them to predict the bird’s egg color. Generally speaking, a chicken with white earlobes will lay white eggs, and a chicken with brown or reddish earlobes will lay brown eggs.
Egg shell color doesn’t mean more nutrition
Eggs come in many colors: blue, green, brown. But just because white eggs are colorless and most common, doesn’t mean they have less nutrition than their colorful counterparts. Egg shell color is solely a result of genetics. All other things being equal, a brown egg laying chicken and a white egg laying chicken will produce eggs nearly identical in taste and nutrition.
Egg yolk indicators
Shell color might not indicate nutritional makeup, but the yolk sure does. Yolks range in color from pale yellow to a deep orange, based on the bird’s diet. Free-range hens, feeding on insects and grasses will lay eggs with richer-colored, more nutritious yolks, while grain-fed hens will give pale yellow, less nutritious yolks.
That white, stringy thing is good
If you crack an egg and notice a white stringy thing still attached to the yolk, that’s a good sign. These fibers are called the chalazae, and the more prominent it is, the fresher the egg.
Because eggs exit through the same passageway as feces, the USDA requires that all American eggs are first washed and sanitized at a processing plant. This washing removes the natural lining — called the bloom — that seals the egg pores and protects the egg from disease and infection, so Americans have to refrigerate our eggs to minimize risk of bacterial infection, while Europeans do not.
How to spot an old egg
As eggs age, their porous shells can take on extra air and develop an air pocket sufficient enough to keep it afloat. This means that you can roughly tell the freshness of an egg by place it in a cup of water. If it sinks, it’s fresh. If it floats, you might have an old egg. Still, this doesn’t mean you can’t eat it, says the USDA. Crack the egg into a bowl and check it for unusual smells or appearance before eating it or using in baked goods. Spoiled eggs have an unpleasant odor.
Old eggs makes better peelers
Fresher eggs are more difficult to peel because the air cell at the end of the shell is small at first. After a few weeks, the egg contents contract and the air pocket enlarges making the shell easier to peel.
hen Age effects eggs
The thickness of an egg shell depends on the age of the chicken. Young chickens lay eggs with harder, thicker shells and old chickens lay eggs with thinner, more delicate shells. The size of the egg is also determined by the age of the hen. The older the bird, the larger the egg she will lay.
Egg size varies
Not every egg in your carton of “Large” eggs is exactly the same size, of course — this come from nature after all. Rather than requiring each egg in a carton be the same size, the USDA gives guidelines for egg weight by the dozen, so small inconsistencies even out over the 12.
There’s an easy way to tell if an egg has been hard-boiled. Place it on its side and spin it around. If it spins easily, it’s been boiled. If it’s wobbly, it’s still raw.