Happy New Year 2013!
To kick off the New Year, I'm looking at my breakfast eggs, and I'm wondering... do they really need refrigeration? I'm also wondering what wonderful things will happen in the year 2013, but this question seems more my size this morning...
As I collected eggs from my flock, I was intending the eggshells for crafts or for egg artists, but my family also consumed eggs, and so I wondered. Eggs need refrigeration because it reduces bacteria growth - not because the egg itself will spoil quickly. So yes, eggs really do need refrigeration, but in the olden days, a cool shelf in the larder or basement was plenty.
Because lower temperatures slow the growth of any harmful bacteria that might be in the egg, like salmonella.
Most eggs don't have salmonella. Farmers in the USA have worked very hard to ensure that. But if it is there, refrigerating it will help, and cooking the egg will kill it. Which is also why raw egg consumption, including cookie dough snoring, is considered risky behavior. So is blowing the egg without using an egg blowing device, because the raw egg can be tricky.
We are all wary of encountering a rotten egg, even though most of us never have. When I finally did come across a rotten egg, I decided that it really was something worth avoiding like the plague. It really was astoundingly awful.
But what surprised me was how long it took an egg to rot... Most of the time they dried out first. More than six weeks and just the right conditions were required to foment rotten egg magic.
And often, I could tell from the outside that it was a potential stink bomb. It would have a dark band around the middle, or a strange texture to the shell. So we don't have to fear rotten eggs... and eggs in the fridge will last several weeks.
As eggs age, they collect air under the shell. So you can tell fresh from old by putting it in a bowl of water. Fresh eggs sink and old eggs float.
Floating eggs are probably not for breakfast... and probably not so great for egg art either!