Dietribes: Eggs

eggs.jpg /

Eggs. We know where they came from (or started ... or was it the chicken?), so I won't bore you with those details. Instead, here are some amazing facts and figures concerning the incredible, edible egg.

"¢ First, a little nutrition information. The health value of the egg has been exhaustively debated over the past few decades (cholesterol content, whether one should just consume the whites, etc). But the facts remain: though the yolk makes up roughly 34% of an egg's liquid weight, contains all of the fat and a bit less than half of the protein, it also contains a higher proportion of the egg's vitamins, including B6 and B12, folic acid, pantothenic acid and thiamin. Vitamins A, D, E and K are exclusive to the yolk.

"¢ Keeping eggs in cartons is the best way to keep them fresh. An egg's shell is actually porous (with about 17,000 tiny individual pores) so that it absorbs flavors and odors around it.

"¢ Here's an "egg counter" for you: A hen requires 24 to 26 hours to produce an egg. Thirty minutes later, she starts all over again. There are nearly 280 million laying birds in the U.S., each of whom produces 250-300 eggs per year, totally around 75 billions eggs - about 10% of the world's supply.

sonya-thomas.jpeg /

"¢ "Omelet King" Howard Helmer, Senior National Representative for the American Egg Board, holds three Guinness World Records for omelet making: fastest omelet-maker (427 omelets in 30 minutes); fastest single omelet (42 seconds from whole egg to omelet); and omelet flipping (30 flips in 34 seconds). My mornings would go a great deal faster with him on board.

"¢ Humpty Dumpty may be the most famous egg ... but is there evidence to support his being an egg at all? In the original nursery rhyme, there is no mention of Humpty's egg-ness. While there are various versions of stories of what Humpty Dumpty may represent, the poem might have simply been a riddle whose answer was that Humpty was indeed an egg.

"¢ An "Easter Egg" is often code to mean a surprise. "The first Imperial Easter egg was ordered in 1885 by Czar Alexander II. The monarch gave it to his wife, Maria Feodorovna. Inside it contained a surprise: a golden hen, a small ruby Easter egg, and a diamond replica of the Czar's crown." There are only 50 Imperial Easter Eggs in the world, and range in auction price from $80 million to $120 million in total. The most expensive Faberge egg was sold at a Christie's auction in 2007 for £8.9 million ($16.5 million).

"¢ And finally, for all those who wondered, there is no discernible difference in nutrition, taste, or any other factor than color between a brown egg and a white egg. The color difference is due to the specific breed of hen, according to the Egg Nutrition Center. Hens with white feathers and white earlobes will lay white eggs, whereas hens with red feathers and matching-colored earlobes give us brown eggs.

You know what I'm going to ask ... what's your favorite way to eat an egg?

[Previous Dietribes: Strawberries, Macaroni & Cheese, McIntosh Apples, Smoothies, Coffee and The Sweet Potato.]

"˜Dietribes' appears every Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.