One would think that writing about eggs would be a difficult task, in that so many people take the oval offering for granted. I mean c’mon, when’s the last time you thought about eggs in great detail? …and survived to talk about it later?
So I’m in a bit of a quandary. How do I write about eggs in such a way that is both informative, and yet doesn’t induce somnambulism?
Well, there’s flat out lying of course. I could write something along the lines of:
EATING EGGS WILL INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF BEING A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE!!!
There are pros and cons to this approach. Pro: It might keep people interested in this article. Con: It’s an out and out fabrication.
I could go with the truth, I could write several sentences along the lines of: With the exception of riboflavin and niacin, the yolk contains a higher proportion of the egg’s vitamins than the white. All of the egg’s vitamins A, D and E are in the yolk. Egg yolks are one of the few foods naturally containing vitamin D.
While this approach has the value of being factually correct, it’s also mind-numbingly dull. Where’s the ‘zing’? Where’s the conflict, the inherent drama?
Alas, when writing for reference, being dull is part of job description (right next to the bullet point where it says that using excessive adverbs is just plain silly). So when I write how the grading system for eggs (AA, A and B) is based on several rather insignificant variables, including albumen appearance, yolk appearance, and shell appearance, what I’m really doing is trying to find the bit’s of ovum trivia that keep me interested. (In fact this whole grading scale reads much like a beauty contest. B graded eggs are just as wholesome and nutritious as the AA eggs, it’s just that they just happen to look like they came from the chicken with bits of its DNA strand missing). So let’s keep it to a few important, easy-to-read bullet points to refer to later. For example:
- Egg shell and yolk color may vary, but color has nothing to do with egg quality, flavor, nutritive value, cooking characteristics or shell thickness.
- Fresh shell eggs can be kept refrigerated in their carton for at least 4 – 5 weeks beyond the pack date. Quality losses should be insignificant if the eggs are refrigerated as soon as possible after purchase from a refrigerated case.
- Hard cooked eggs should be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- The chance of getting salmonella from eating a raw, or lightly cooked egg is about 1 in 20,000
Informative? Yes! Exciting? Only when you take into account that reading about eggs will guarantee that you will have the body of an eighteen year old!*
Some other egg things of note:
Duck Eggs:Duck Eggs are slightly larger than chicken eggs. The chalaza in a duck egg is not as noticeable as it is in a chicken egg and the white is more transparent with less yellow coloring. They have more flavor than chicken eggs, but they also have a higher fat content and more cholesterol. The egg white has a greater level of albumen than a chicken egg. Because of their richness and gelatinous properties, duck eggs are well suited for dessert recipes.
Goose Eggs: Goose Eggs are much larger than chicken or duck eggs. They have more flavor than chicken eggs, are very rich, and like duck eggs, are best used in dessert dishes. Goose eggs are extremely high in cholesterol (over 1200 mg. per egg) and fat, so they should be used sparingly.
Quail Eggs: Quail Eggs are much smaller than chicken eggs, but the flavor is similar. Five quail eggs are equal to one chicken egg. The shells are speckled and range in color from dark brown to blue or white. Quail eggs are often hard-boiled and served as an hors d’oeuvre, garnish, or accompaniment for salads.
So you can see, there are several things about eggs that are just plain jolting and surprising. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t make for an article that leaps off the page. But that’s okay, as I’ll make up for it when I make my custard.
Exciting, isn’t it?
* – only if you are eighteen years old.