Thursday, September 23, 2010
Eggs without refrigeration
It has been a mystery to me why the eggs are not refrigerated, but I've taken it on faith that it is not necessary - after all, every market is doing the same thing.
The best deal on eggs is usually at the open air markets or from egg vendors downtown tucked in the corner of an independent produce market. In these cases the eggs are carefully wrapped in paper, no carton. Works fine - and guess what? Less consumption, less waste, lower price.
Today I finally tried to track down what keeps eggs from spoiling outside refrigeration. It seems the brillant mother hen applies a fine film around the egg. In the last portion of the chicken’s oviduct, a thin protein coating called “bloom” is applied to the shell to keep harmful bacteria or dust from entering the egg shell pores.
Back in the states this bloom is washed off (it makes the eggs appear dirty and may in fact contain some excrement) which then necessitates refrigeration to prevent spoilage.
The eggs we get from the open air markets and the egg vendors definitely have this bloom on the shells, but the eggs in the cartons in large grocery stores appear washed.
So I guess it is still a mystery why some are not refrigerated. At any rate, when they get to our apartment they are promptly placed in the refrigerator.