The last time I visited my mother in Spain she brought some fresh eggs from the “aldea” (village in Galician) where some of her extended family lives. Some of the eggshells were white, some were brown, some were bigger, some were smaller – no surprise there. It was the deep orange color of the yolk that really surprised me. I’m talking about a tone of orange I’ve never seen in any egg yolk before. At that time, I wasn’t that interested on ‘why’ the Galician yolks were much darker and brighter than the Californian yolks.
Those yolks were so brightly colored because the Spanish village chickens roamed around outside and they were out walking around and exercising in the sunshine, eating all kinds of grasses and insects in addition to the grains the chicken owner’s feed them. A more diverse diet and more nutrition made those eggs have more vitamins in them. Those eggs were not pasteurized and probably infested with salmonella, all sorts of food born illness, hen’s crap, and other unsanitary issues…but it has been way over 72 hours and I’ve survived long enough to tell you that super fresh eggs from happy Spanish chickens that eat bugs and hang out in the sun all day are the BEST eggs I’ve ever tried.
Last week I came across these pasture eggs from Vital Farms at my local Ralph’s. They may not come from happy Spanish chickens but the flavor, color and texture of these eggs were in one word RIGHT! That’s how eggs suppose to be. I mean, look at the color of this yolk!!! No filter…straight from my iPhone. I wasn’t to excited to pay almost $6.00 for 12 of these delicious but not DEALicious (hah) eggs, but it was so worthy. So, it was over easy eggs for breakfast the whole week. The white part was consistently fluffy and the yolk so thick and creamy every time. And even though these eggs were not pasteurized, I’ve survived again to document them here.
Here are some facts I learn about eggs:
- Shell color is breed specific and it’s no indication of quality.
- Cage Free hens are not caged and they live inside barns, but they generally do not have access to the outdoors.
- Free-Range and Free Roaming seem to mean the same.
- Certified Organic the hens are uncaged inside barns and are required to have outdoor access, but duration of outdoor access is undefined. They are fed an organic, all-vegetarian diet, free of antibiotics and pesticides.
- Vegetarian fed means that the hens’ food doesn’t contain animal byproducts.
- Pasture-raised hens are kept outdoors for most of the year, on a spacious pasture covered with living plants, and are kept indoors at night for protection.
- Pastured eggs have been shown to be higher in vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, and lower in cholesterol and saturated fat.