Monday, August 23, 2010
Should A City Mouse Eat Country Eggs? My Egg Tale
On Friday, I ate eggs that had sat outdoors . . . unrefrigerated . . . for hours. How disgusting! Oh, wait. How natural! How disgusting? How natural?
I got a dozen eggs from farmers in Pennsylvania. They crossed a little more than 100 miles and an experience gap of an entire lifetime. I'm two generations from the farm, and my eggs were delivered through the hands of a PhD nutritionist and a physician before they reached my kitchen.
We split a CSA membership, and let's just say that we split on our view of unrefrigerated eggs.
Some people spend their professional lives discussing salmonella and sterilization. They correctly pointed out that supermarkets refrigerate eggs and stamp them with "sell by" dates. They sent me links about outbreaks. Other people -- and by other people, I mean, "I" -- had a couple emails with the farmers (who have almost nine months of farming experience at this point) and the argument that, "The farmers say it's totally cool."
Let's just say: More eggs for me.
I passed up the street food in Thailand. I firmly believe in separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables. But the farmers were so casual and confident, and I joined a CSA to break out of my shrink-wrapped experience with supermarket food. Plus, I surveyed the Internet: Chicken-lover Web site - check. Survivalist Web site - check. Somebody who claims to be "Answers.com" - check. Everyone said eggs last days -- if not longer -- at room temperature.
Those fresh eggs were just as delicious as people say on "SurvivalistBoards.com." I fried the first three in a little butter and sprinkled them with salt. Clearly, the buildup encouraged me to taste more flavor and freshness than my supermarket eggs. I really enjoyed them. I also appreciate the lesson and the chance for a city mouse to try something new.
Anyone know a local source for fresh eggs?