Saturday, 15 September 2007

Buy One, Get One Free

"Often bakers and ice cream-lovers have egg whites leftover. But what to do with all those slippery little devils?" Thus wrote David Lebovitz the other day, helpfully providing a list of links to options including macaroons, marshmallows, soufflés and, of course, good old-fashioned meringues.

Having enjoyed reading the blog post, I thought nothing more of it until, wandering around the supermarket the other day, I came across these beauties. No - not the egg cups. They live at home, and some of you will recognise them from an earlier post. It was the odd-shaped eggs that caught my attention. Now you may have been thinking that I'd been careless in re-sizing the photograph to fit, but you'd be quite wrong. They really were that shape. Long and thin with the hint of a waistline, rather than the usual oval shape.

And there was a reason for the shape, which became clear when one of these elongated chicken ovums was cracked into a pan for brekkie. No, that's not photo manipulation, either. Every one's a winner.

What I'd unwittingly discovered was the latest supermarket BOGOF special: "Buy one yolk, get one yolk free".

So there's the answer to David's conundrum. What to do with those spare whites? Buy 50% less in the first place!

I guess my readers will split neatly into two groups. Those who believe the slogan: "hand selected". And those who don't believe a word of it, but have no idea how the supermarket (or farm supplier) achieves this impressive trick. As a member of the cynical-but-slightly-ignorant-city-folk group, I have absolutely no idea whether they use an infra-red scanner attached to a computer running pattern recognition software, or simply bring in a large troupe of ancient country yokels who can tell the gender and scale of a chicken's expected progeny at a glance. Perhaps someone will enlighten me.


Coffee & Vanilla said...

Wow, that is very interesting! I have never seen eggs like this in the shop here in UK...
Thank you for voting for Inspiring Food Photography! :)

Greetings, Margot

Kathryn said...

I've asked this question to some of my farmer friends a few times. Apparently you can tell a double yolker from holding it up to the light in a certain way. I'm still not convinced though.

Richard said...

It's a process they used to call 'candling' - you hold an egg up to a candle to see what's inside - you can try it at home! What it is generally used for is to check to see if the egg is fertilised, but you can also find out if it's a double yoker.
Hens sometimes lay large eggs with two yolks, it just happens sometimes... but more curious is that they sometimes lay eggs without shells... these 'soft eggs' just have the membrane around them and they're like little sacks of gloop really - great fun to play with if you happen to be a 7 year old on a chicken farm...
The soft eggs ususally get broken out (in a centrifuge) and the liquid egg sold to the catering trade by weight/volume...

Don't ask how I know these things...

Trig said...

Thanks, Richard, for that illuminating explanation.

I know you can see the yolks under the right lighting, but I can't see that an economic model involving someone holding eggs up one at a time to a candle would work for the 2007 supermarket supply chain. So I guess they must use scanners these days.

As for the liquid egg being sold into the catering trade - yes, I've seen this myself in professional kitchens. As for where you learnt it - no, I won't ask.

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