Nanny declared, I prefer brown. She wasn't talking about a favorite color of
shoes, or a kind of bread; she was talking about an item that was an essential
part of her recipes. When she said make mine brown, she was referring to her
favorite color of eggs. She believed, as did many cooks from the Deep South,
that brown eggs were better tasting, and had more nutritious than white eggs.
Is it true that
eggs have brown shells are better tasting than eggs with white shells? Well,
here is what I understand; years ago, farmers tended to purchase Rhode Island
Red or Plymouth Rock chickens, because they are known as good stock. Those
breeds of chicken with dark colored feathers; produced the dark colored eggs.
For reasons unknown to the ordinary farmer, those who bought chickens as
production layers; chose White Leghorns. White Leghorns have white feathers,
and lay white eggs.
to scientific analysis, what determines the outside color of an egg? It can
usually be determined by the color of the chicken, but that is not always the
best indicator. For years, people guessed about the tried and true way to
determine the outside color of an egg. So how can you know for sure? Well, I'm
getting to that.
I owe most of
what I know about chickens and eggs to my Nanny, she is the one who best
understood the complicated world dealing with chickens and eggs. During most of
her life, fresh eggs were as close as the backyard. Her mother raised chickens
at the boarding house, where she grew up; when she married, and they moved to
Terrell County, they had chickens that roamed their yard. Going out to gather
the eggs was part of her daily routine. She was careful to look into the nest
before reaching for the fresh eggs, just when you least expected it; a snake was
napping inside the nest.
Is there a
difference in the taste? The scientific answer is no, but Nanny preferred the
brown eggs, because she believed that they tasted better. It is a fact that
brown eggs are more expensive to produce because the hens are larger, and they
eat more. Because farmers tended to purchase the larger chicks, and because the
hens that are raised on the farm eat better than those living in chicken houses,
the yolks have a more golden in color. Cooks declare that the darker the yolk,
the better the taste. I guess the decision becomes a personal choice.
So, again, how
can you be sure what color of eggs a chicken will produce? It's easy, just look
inside the ear; the color of the egg will match exactly the color of the
feathers in the chicken's ear. Happy hunting!
Here is another
interesting fact: bigger eggs come from older chickens.