Friday, June 4, 2010

All Eggs Taste The Same

Backyard eggs vs. store-bought: They taste the same
By Tamar Haspel
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, June 2, 2010; E01

Fresh eggs from well-treated chickens taste better than supermarket eggs. Ask anyone who raises chickens, or anyone who's thinking about raising chickens, or anyone who gets eggs from anyone who raises chickens. Ask anyone, actually.

Well, as of about a year ago, I raise chickens. And I wanted to believe.

When my husband, Kevin, and I made the move two years ago from Manhattan to two wooded acres on Cape Cod, we were determined to do all the things we couldn't do in the city. We garden, of course. We also fish and hunt, shellfish and lobster. We grow mushrooms and make sea salt. We brew root beer and dandelion wine.

And we raise chickens. Apparently, so does everybody and his brother. There aren't any official stats: Backyard chickens fly under the Department of Agriculture's radar. But they seem to be all the rage.

We collected our first egg last Sept. 22 (we made book on it). Although it was a runty thing, a scant two inches high, I rushed to my husband's office to show him. We have both known all our lives that chickens lay eggs, but we held it in our hands and marveled at the miraculousness of it, as though our chicken had laid a fig, or maybe a truffle. That evening, to keep the shell intact, we carefully poked holes in both ends and blew out the contents, which we scrambled in a little bit of butter. There was just enough for each of us to have a bite.

It was, of course, delicious. But it got me wondering. How much of the deliciousness came from the idea of it, and how much came from the actual yolk and white of it? Read More

Our urban and suburban friends have been busy starting their backyard food producing enterprises over the last couple years. But as the work gets more tedious and the romance wears off we finally start to see the reality come into view. I don’t have a problem with people raising their own food in a garden or with some backyard livestock but looking objectively at what it produces is important. I think the thing to remember is that there is always a lot of hype surrounding new and trendy things. It’s how you feel a year later about your new and trendy thing that tells the real story.

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