Now That's an Egg of a Different Color!
Whether it’s flaunting a pale bubblegum pink hue, blue like an overgrown robin’s egg, or green like one you might serve with ham in a whimsical childhood story; a rainbow of eggs exists…no paint required!
If you’ve made regular rounds at your local farmer’s market, you may be familiar with eggs that aren’t porcelain white as you would typically find in the grocery store. The first time I crossed a sign boasting “GREEN EGGS” at my local market and pestered the vendor to allow me a peek into his cooler to verify what I thought to be an outrageous claim, I promptly dove into research about this polychromatic phenomenon.
As it turns out, the color of an egg depends on the breed of the chicken that laid it, or more specifically, the DNA within that chicken that encodes for a gene. This gene directs the application of the color to the egg during the laying process, which takes about a day. Meanwhile, the egg will rotate down the hen’s oviduct, starting out white before absorbing color prior to being laid. Rotation speed is another interesting factor; a slower rotation of the egg results in darker speckles of color, while a faster rotation results in brilliant smears of color!
Blue eggs are laid by only three breeds of hen: ameraucana, araucana, and cream legbar. Green eggs come from olive eggers, a cross breed that contains the genes for both blue and brown egg dyes, the combination of which gives the egg its green hue. Hens that can lay eggs in nearly any color across the spectrum, aptly named Easter Eggers, are considered “mutts” with regard to the genes they carry and the egg color they produce- each hen will effectively produce her own unique color of egg throughout her life. And the brown eggs that are often seen alongside white eggs in the grocery store? The very same dying process applies to brown eggs as any other colored eggs.
Brown eggs have long been perceived as fresher and more local, but this is not necessarily true- the pigment in the shell has nothing to do with the nutrition or texture of the egg…after all, we don’t consume the actual shell. This rule applies for all colors of eggs- why not bring an enchanting touch to brunch by incorporating vivid eggs into dishes like our Scotch Egg with Chow Chow and Spring Lettuce, or the Summer Skillet with Veggies and Eggs? Don’t be afraid to toss (or rather, gently place) some of those mint green eggs into your basket next time you shop through the farmer’s market! After all, who could pass up an egg of a different color?
Interested in learning more about a few of our local egg suppliers? Take a look at Jody's Farms, Beulah Farms, and Darby Farms!
For more egg knowledge, check out Eggs - A Short Stack Edition in our online store today!