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How to tell how fresh an egg is

10th March 2016

Did you know that eggs bought at the supermarket can be up to four weeks old? EU legislation states that they have to be sold up to 28 days from lay, but this means you could be buying eggs that were laid weeks ago. Here are our top tips to help you work out how fresh your eggs are (and try a half dozen on us too with our eggcellent offer below).

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Farmer Rally at Purton House Organics (above) is happy when he’s gathering the freshly-laid eggs of his free-roaming chickens.

Sometimes, the best before date isn’t always going to tell you exactly what you need to know about just how fresh your eggs are. Our farmers’ eggs come direct from the farm and are graded and packaged right on site. The eggs laid by our producers’ free-roaming hens can be laid as freshly as the day before they land on your doorstep. There’s no time wasted in travelling between farmer and processor, distribution centre and shop shelves, meaning you get the freshest eggs you can get your hands on (outside of popping to the farm!).

Some recipes need really fresh eggs. Here’s what you need to know to make the most our your golden nuggets of joy.

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Fresh egg on the left, stale egg on the right.

1. Do the water test

Fill a tall glass with water and pop the egg you want to test in. If it sinks and lies horizontally at the bottom, it’s fresh and perfect for poaching and whisking into soufflés. 

Do your poached eggs fall apart? It could be because your eggs aren’t as absolutely farm fresh as they need to be. 

If the eggs floats a little vertically and tilts halfway, it’s not so fresh but is fine for scrambled eggs and omelettes. 

If it floats, it’s stale.

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Stale egg on the left, fresh egg on the right.

2. Crack it open and have a look

Break the egg onto a plate. Firstly, check out the yolk. A fresh egg’s yolk will be wonderfully plump and sit up proud from its white.

A stale egg yolk will sit flat and look a little deflated and flabbly. It’s not much good for anything and definitely not for poaching.

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Stale egg on the left, fresh egg on the right.

Next, take a look at the shape of its white. If fresh, the white will hold its shape in a sharp, defined inner ring. 

There will be a thinner outer ring too and the yolk should be easy to separate from the white in a fresh, happy egg.

The less defined the inner ring and outer ring become, the less fresh the egg is.

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Classic fresh egg, fried sunny side up.

So there you go! When in doubt, do the fresh egg test so you can enjoy recipes at their eggy best. What’s your favourite way to cook eggs and do you have any tips and tricks we’ve missed? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @farmdrop!

We want you to taste for yourself just how much better farm fresh eggs are. Enter the code GOODEGGS at the checkout when you spend £30.00 or more by midnight on Thursday 17th March and you’ll receive a free half dozen box of Purton House Organics Mixed Eggs. (One code use per customer).

See all of our farm fresh eggs on the shop.

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