Do Farm Fresh Eggs Really Taste Better? Or Is It My Imagination?

Kitchen Diary: Anne in South Carolina

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My sister and I are at the beach, a late summer vacation on Edisto Island, and we have taken an unnaturally long time to buy eggs. Sparing you the intimate details, neither of us are wildly wealthy enough to turn up our noses at perfectly good food. But the eggs. We both seem to have developed an affinity for farm fresh, free range eggs. The lone chain grocery store on the island has regular eggs, the kind we grew up eating and enjoying. It wouldn't have dawned on our parents to get all dramatic about such a basic breakfast food. Apparently, we've gotten picky.

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Maybe it was my local farmers market. Or was it that time we stayed in Ocqueville, France (population 458), and bought eggs from the sole vendor, a guy who showed up in the morning in a van, selling eggs from his farm, and pastries made in his home?

My sister tried to pinpoint it, guessing that she got picky when she lived downstairs from a woman who kept chickens and freely shared their eggs with neighbors.

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We've been on this island for several days, and can't bring ourselves to buy eggs. We're used to relaxing our food standards while we're here. Organic makes way for locally grown. Dinner depends on what's available at the seafood market, or what another guest brings. Cheese is limited to the basics, and bread what's on the shelf. The wine is excellent, until we go through the bottles we brought from home. Suddenly, the selection at Bi-Lo is just fine.

But the eggs. My sister and I have discussed the color of the yolks of fresh eggs, the unpredictable degree of orange or yellow. We've tried to describe the difference in taste. The perceived weight of the eggs has been explored. In the end, we agreed that we couldn't call it. We just prefer farm fresh eggs.

King's Market, which is a ways up the road and too far to drive when the beach beckons, has farm fresh eggs, and I waited until today to buy them, on the way back from picking up friends from the nearest airport. Tomorrow morning, I think they'll taste delicious with a side of cheese grits and bacon, definitely worth the wait.

But am I fooling myself? Do they really taste better or have I just gotten picky?

My husband and I have noted that we didn't taste a difference when we started eating "the good eggs," but that since they have become our standard, we do notice a difference when going back to mass marketed eggs. Did we spoil ourselves?

What do you think? Is there a difference or is it all my imagination?

(Image credits: Anne Wolfe Postic)

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