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Egg storage the world over


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#31 liuzhou

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:13 PM

From previous discussions, it seem to me that refrigerating eggs is an American habit. The rest of the world doesn't bother (or doesn't have the facilities). I live in the tropics where supermarkets, markets, corner shops etc all keep eggs unrefrigerated. Nor do people refrigerate them at home. My M-I-L told me, in all seriousness, that the "egg racks" in fridges are in fact for lemons and that is how I use them!

I buy my eggs (hen and duck mainly, with occasional quails eggs) in the local market (very fresh and organic) and they are never refrigerated. Never had a problem.

In fact, I can't see any point refrigerating them. So many recipes advise bringing eggs to room temperature before using them. Seems to me to be a bit of a waste of time chilling them just to warm them up again! :smile:

#32 Maxim

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:39 PM

I refrigerate them here (Australia) as do other Australians I know. New Zealanders do as well, AFAIK. So, not just an American thing.

My wife's family in Jakarta keep eggs on top of the fridge (unrefrigerated), as far as I remember. Their main concern is making sure the eggs are always solidly cooked (no sunny side up!) due to Avian flu.

We bring eggs to room temperature before using them for most things, but I think we keep them cool because it's believed to increase longevity - which would justify a chill and then unchill approach. I have never tested if eggs do last longer in the refrigerator, although I know ours are fine even up to around a month after their best before dates. For many it would be a moot point though if whatever eggs are bought are used within the month.

We also refrigerate our butter here, although used to keep it out under a cover. In the case of butter though, refrigeration is due to the regular 30C+ days.

#33 nikkib

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 04:45 AM

On a slightly different note - egss where i am have a use by date of over a month, which i am dubious about to say the least, i would usually expect eggs to have a use by date of like a week surely?
"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

#34 sparrowgrass

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 09:00 AM

I am an 'eggspert'--worked for USDA for a time, and certified as a poultry/egg grader.

Washed eggs (all commercial US eggs are washed) need to be refrigerated, because the protective 'bloom' put on by the hen has been washed away, making the egg vulnerable to dehydration and possible contamination--the egg shell is porous. If the eggs are straight from the hen, the picture is different. Farmers market eggs may or may not be washed--I only wash mine if they are obviously dirty.

How long do eggs keep? If a hen is going to hatch eggs, it takes her a week or twp to lay a clutch of eggs, say 10 or 12. Then those eggs are incubated for 21 days. Thus, evolutionarily speaking, an egg is naturally going to last for a minimum of 4-5 weeks, in a warm environment. If eggs, fertilized or unfertilized, spoiled sooner, the whole chicken race would be in danger, because a spoiled egg could infect the whole clutch--spoiled eggs explode, which would spread contamination and attract vermin.

I have an incubator, and have hatched many batches of chicks. Usually, only 50-75 percent of eggs develop. I have broken the unhatched eggs--they look and smell just fine, after 3 weeks at 100 degrees. The dogs get those, but if one was hungry enough . . .
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#35 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 09:35 AM

I'll speak for Latin America - nobody refrigerates their eggs here, unless they've got already cooked leftovers. But in-shell raw eggs in the fridge? Never. Eggs come from the market in convenient recycled-board flats of 25-30 (depending on size) and those just sit in their designated spot on the counter. I have a fairly large fridge, but eggs are not found inside it - I use the egg trays to store small limes instead. I do, however, keep my butter in the fridge. At the temperatures my kitchen reaches when I'm working in it (ambient 25-30 C plus oven heat), I'd have large pats of melted guck on my counter.

Then again, even the large producers of eggs sell them pretty much as quickly as they come out of the chickens, and in the places where I buy eggs I'm quite sure they're less than 1 week out of the hens; I occasionally find bits of chickity-doo on my eggshells but simply wash them well right before I crack them, so no worries.

HOWEVER - most Canadians also refrigerate their eggs and butter. It's not an exclusively United-Statesian thing. On the Canuck front, my grandparents used to keep their butter in a hollow in the snowdrift out the kitchen door all winter to conserve space in the kitchen and to keep it as fresh as possible; I think that might be one of the roots of keeping the butter at least in the fridge. Of course, that was butter that Grandma made direct from the unpasteurized skimmings from their two Guernsey cows, so there may have been a bacterial issue as well in keeping it cool.

Somebody upthread also asked about the difference between a cold and room-temp egg in baking applications. If, for example, you're making French-style buttercream icings or any type of Meringues or Suspiros (whipped egg white things) or egg-white cakes, they do perform very differently. Cold eggs don't come up to a nice froth the way that room-temperature ones do, and the result is a lower cake (in the case of whipped egg-white leavens), a flat meringue or suspiro, and less than perfectly fluffy buttercream. However, in things like cookies where the egg is adding more its adhesive properties to the dough, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference.
Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.
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#36 nikkib

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 11:44 AM

I am an 'eggspert'--worked for USDA for a time, and certified as a poultry/egg grader.

Washed eggs (all commercial US eggs are washed) need to be refrigerated, because the protective 'bloom' put on by the hen has been washed away, making the egg vulnerable to dehydration and possible contamination--the egg shell is porous. If the eggs are straight from the hen, the picture is different. Farmers market eggs may or may not be washed--I only wash mine if they are obviously dirty.

How long do eggs keep? If a hen is going to hatch eggs, it takes her a week or twp to lay a clutch of eggs, say 10 or 12. Then those eggs are incubated for 21 days. Thus, evolutionarily speaking, an egg is naturally going to last for a minimum of 4-5 weeks, in a warm environment. If eggs, fertilized or unfertilized, spoiled sooner, the whole chicken race would be in danger, because a spoiled egg could infect the whole clutch--spoiled eggs explode, which would spread contamination and attract vermin.

I have an incubator, and have hatched many batches of chicks. Usually, only 50-75 percent of eggs develop. I have broken the unhatched eggs--they look and smell just fine, after 3 weeks at 100 degrees. The dogs get those, but if one was hungry enough . . .


So the eggs i have seen with a month long use by date are fine then? Good to know - thank~s!
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"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

#37 Jaymes

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 08:35 AM

Regardless as to how many times I try and how many recipes I use, the Spanish tortillas I make here in the US don't taste like the ones in Spain. I've been told that's because we use refrigerated, pasteurized eggs, and they don't.
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#38 Smithy

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 09:07 PM

Regardless as to how many times I try and how many recipes I use, the Spanish tortillas I make here in the US don't taste like the ones in Spain. I've been told that's because we use refrigerated, pasteurized eggs, and they don't.


Refrigerated seems common enough...but pasteurized? Really? In my neck of the woods the pasteurized eggs are clearly labeled and commensurately expensive. Am I misunderstanding your meaning?

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#39 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 09:54 PM

I haven't seem pasteurized eggs for sale here.


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#40 Jaymes

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 10:59 AM

I never really paid attention to whether or not the eggs I buy are pasteurized. And don't have any right now to go look at. When I was told that the USDA requires eggs to be pasteurized, and that that was one of the main reasons why our Spanish tortillas made here don't taste like those in Spain, I just accepted it.

Probably foolish of me.

But does anyone else have any thoughts on the matter?
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#41 rotuts

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 11:29 AM

I think its more likely to be the Olive Oil.

 

its worth consideration.



#42 Ttogull

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:34 PM

I am not an expert. I once went in search of pasteurized eggs, and they were harder to find than I thought. Like Smithy says, it's a selling point and they are more expensive and clearly labeled.

I have a friend who has chickens for eggs. He is always telling me how the weather affects the taste of the eggs. If it rains, the chickens eat more bugs, and this affects everything from taste to color to hardness of the shell. I imagine Spanish tortillas don't taste right in the US is because the US chickens don't eat the same as much as anything. Iberico pork, for instance, tastes like no other pork I've had.
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