Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Baking and Eggs

Eggs are a gift and blessing from Mother Nature.

They're nutritional powerhouses that lovingly embrace our bodies with goodness.

For those who love to bake, good, fresh eggs are treasures worth their weight in gold.

The better the egg, the better the cake (or cookie or tea bread etc.)

Over the last few months we searched high and low around Fauquier County, VA, for sources of great eggs.

We searched for eggs with golden rich yolks that stood up high in the center of a pool of thick white with a fresh, country aroma. We wanted eggs with thick shells - a sign that the chicken has been well fed on a nutritionally rich diet.

Sadly, what we universally found in the grocery stores were eggs of average but passable quality.

Watery whites, flat (spreading) yolks, paper thin shells and virtually no aroma were the rule and it didn't matter if the eggs were store brand, a natural brand or a name brand.

Price-y organic eggs were the most disappointing of all - perhaps because their expensive price tags left them on the shelves longer than battery chicken - farm eggs.

A bit better (but still not great) were the Egg-land's Best brand of eggs. They were fresher, the yolk was more yellow (almost most orange) and fresh smelling. They were worth the extra money they cost.

The best eggs were (surprise!) from local farmers who raised chickens but to find eggs you really like, you have to shop around. What the chickens are fed and how they're kept will affect the quality of the egg plus the taste.

So if you love to bake, you're got to focus on the quality of the eggs you use.

The better the egg, the better the baking.


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