Cooking with eggs is one of life’s simple pleasures – right up there with spatchcocking a Cornish Game Hen or pit-roasting a Highland Cow.
However you plan to prepare your chef d’oeuvre the first step is always to select your eggs with extreme care. Creating the perfect dish is made all the more difficult if you start with shoddy materials.
1. Packaging Distribution: Open up the egg carton and carefully review the placement of eggs within. Ideally you should choose eggs that are evenly distributed both laterally and vertically throughout the packaging. This ensures that the effects of any tipping and / or bruising in transit are minimized.
2. Aspect Ratio: The precise dimensions of your chosen egg will make a significant difference. Using Vernier calipers, measure the height and breadth of your egg several times. Average out each set of measurements and then calculate the ratio of height to breadth. For best results you should always look for a so-called “Golden Egg” – one whose dimensions approaches that of the Golden ratio.
3. Circular Consistency: When viewed from above your egg should be a perfect circle – lacking any obvious bumps or dimples. Place your egg inside a small circular container such as a measuring cup, and then take a photo from above. A careful visual inspection should then be sufficient to weed out any eggs that are suspiciously deviant in this regard.
4. A Balanced Posture: As a final step place a small amount of Kosher salt in the base of your measuring cup. Place the egg with minimal adjustment onto the salt and observe its natural posture. Any eggs that have a tendency to tip should be discarded immediately. However, those with a natural inclination away from the vertical of more than ten degrees should also be shunned.
- Expect to reject approximately 65% of any store bought eggs.
- Always look for eggs with an even distribution of color and a pleasant hue.
- Never use eggs that have been jostled or mishandled in transit. Avoid eggs whose carriage has included traveling on a bicycle, riding on public transport of any kind or crossing over a cattle guard.
Following these easy steps will allow you to approach your egg-based dish with confidence and enthusiasm.