Eggs are one of the main ingredients in almost all cuisines of the world, and in Italy even more perhaps. They are eaten alone with so many different cooking, have an outline, are, with the flour, the base for the egg pasta, as they are at the base of creams and sweets of various kinds.
The eggs, whether fertilized, represent the main reproductive system fauna not mammalian, and, beyond some "exotic" products are for the most part commesitibili. Human consumption concerns sorattuto chicken eggs, but the market there are also the quail eggs and more rarely those of other birds.
The egg is in fact one of the examples of cell more visible. E 'consists of three main elements: shell, egg white and yolk. The shell is covered externally by a semipermeable cuticle (is passing the gases but not liquids) and inside is integral with two membrane layers (testacea membrane) which are joined everywhere except the egg base in which to leave a space called "bladder". The interior is made from the album egg or egg white, a substance composed of 90% of water and protein. At the center of the albumen is the yolk, ranging in color from yellow to orange, composed of 50% water, 17% protein, 30% fat and other substances.
Hen eggs represent the highest concentration of nutrients to the minimum possible price, a medium egg provides about 70 calories (133 for 100gr) concentrated mainly in the yolk, which also carries all the vitamins A, D and E, in addition to B6 and B12 and a large amount of nutrients proteins, in all essential amino acids, codeine, iron, potassium, calcium and phosphorous. Fats also carry cholesterol, one egg brings about 80% of the GDA media.
The color of the shell has no incedenza on egg characteristics and mainly depends on the breed of hens, while the color of the yolk depends on the type of power supply and, alas pigments that manufacturers are taking to meet all needs of different markets ( using E160 E161 and additives). Once the egg coloe was associated with the health of the hens, of course this is no longer so. Naturally still a more intense color yolk produces pasta and the best desserts.
How to Choose Your Eggs
The egg quality varies as a function of many factors, some controllable and others less. The current legislation is fairly comprehensive although some estimates are mostly related to the proper pricing than with the quality of the product.
The law provides for three main categories:
- Category A: clean eggs, nuts intact, not washed, not be chilled even in conservation processes, which are divided into two classes:
- Fresh Eggs: with room less than 6 millimeters air, marketable within 28 days from packaging (but should be withdrawn 7 days before the deadline)
- Fresh Eggs Extra: room with less than 4 mm air., Marketed by 9 days of laying and within 7 days from packaging.
- Category B: Second quality or preserved eggs. air tube less than 9 millimeters. Chilled or packed in a modified atmosphere
- Category C: graded eggs compared to the preceding categories, they are not available for retail sale and are intended, after pasteurization in the food industry.
The only grade A eggs, are then classified according to the weight:
- XL = Extra Large, older than 73 grams.
- L = Large, weighing between 63 and 73 grams.
- M = Medium, weighing between 53 and 63 grams.
- S = Small, younger than 53 grams.
It is said that you get more satisfaction from an extra fresh egg XL compared to a fresh M, the quality also depends on other factors, including the type of farming. This is indicated both in the package that the code printed on eggs. It 'the first number that you find, before the country code and indicates the type of farming and can have 4 values:
- 0: Organic: from hens that scratch around on the ground and open air with a density of not more than 6 hens per m². The feed is composed of organic origin food, mainly maize and cereals.
- 1: Alfresco: as the breeding ground with the addition of wide open spaces on which the chickens can roam, the density ranges from 7 animals per m² for a hen every 2,5 m². considering open spaces where they can roam and feed.
- 2. Ashore: hens raised in large sheds with artificial light and a density of no more than 7 animals per m²
- 3. In Cage: the hens are kept in iron cages 40 cm high and with an area of 750 cm² illuminated by artificial light and with high population density.
It 'clear that by 2 and 3 types we can not expect a lot, in addition to the limited space it is important that the impact of artificial light for the hens means not sleeping and eating then continuously with all the related stress.
In general, therefore, for a fresh egg and, hopefully good, it should be noted that:
- The shell should be smooth and clean.
- placed in salt water fresh eggs should be on the bottom, this is due to the smaller amount of the air chamber, while the fresh not tend to float
- when viewed against the light the yolk should be distinctly and at the center also by rotating the egg albumen.
- the yolk is free from blemishes
- the egg white is limpid, homogeneous in gelatinous and free of foreign objects.
Clearly, many of these things are found after purchase, severely and change porodutto and / or seller if the problem persists.
The eggs are marketed amibiente temperature, but should be stored in the refrigerator avoiding temici swings that can cause damage to the cuticle and to penetrate the germs. The eggs laid by healthy animals are internally secure thanks to the cuticle, which protects the yolk and egg white, but does not prevent the presence of germs in bacteria on the shell. On the other hand the eggs should never be washed to preserve the interior, but we have to be careful when handling them:
- Do not leave the eggs at temperatures over 25 ° C, so the eggs also retain their flavor
- Always store the eggs in their packaging in order to avoid that may contaminate other foods
- Wash hands before contact with the shell, and never touch the yolk and the egg white when you break the egg
- Break the egg into a different place from the container yolk and albumen
- Prevent fragments of shell from falling into the yolk and / or egg white, and not the shells resting on the working plane.
Where to Buy Your Eggs
Given the importance of the hygienic aspects it is good to buy in the store and in supermarkets, however, being very careful to read the label. Who has the opportunity to buy the eggs from those with a few chickens (not a producer in the country it is something quite common) and knows the person and the place will find great satisfaction. This is my case I use the eggs laid by my hens and buy eggs only one month a year in which my nocks change plumage and calcium is used for pens and is not diponiblie for the shell. Avoid purchases from ch no warranties, distribution companies and pick the eggs have controls that unless rigorous slightly, and others do not, and if you buy the eggs to work them or make preparations that do not require cooking (mayonnaise or sauces, tiramisu ..) the risk is significant, given that the 50% of salmonella poisoning in Italy comes from processed eggs pain.