Tips&TricksChoosing quality over size: The secrets to buying the best eggs revealed

Choosing quality over size: The secrets to buying the best eggs revealed

Now I know how to choose eggs for the Easter table.
Now I know how to choose eggs for the Easter table.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | vladdeep
5:12 AM EST, February 24, 2024

Despite their seemingly simple nature, not all eggs are created equal. With so many types available on store shelves, making a decision can be confusing. The largest eggs - dubbed the XL size - may seem like the best choice, especially given their impressive appearance on the Easter table. However, does size really matter? Or should we follow the numbers on the carton to guide our choice?

Are XL Eggs the Optimal Choice?

Before you grab that carton of enormous Easter eggs, pause for a moment. An egg classified as XL weighs above 73 grams (about 2.57 ounces), but that doesn't necessarily mean it contains more protein or yolk than smaller eggs. This common misunderstanding can drive misguided decisions because size isn't always the best indicator of quality.

It's important to remember that the packaging of a carton of large eggs can tell you a lot about the conditions in which those chickens were raised. Large eggs are often laid by improperly fed chickens, meaning that even the most impressive-looking egg may not be particularly healthy, and could be prone to a thin, breakable shell. Another downside of XL eggs is that they are made up of around 90% water, which doesn't taste as flavorful as protein and yolk. Are you still sure that these are the eggs you want to buy?

What's the Secret to Buying the Best Eggs?

If you've been consistently buying the largest and cheapest eggs, you may have been making a decision based on the wrong factors. The size and price of an egg are not as significant as several other details which greatly affect your health. In the European Union, there is an egg classification system identifiable through the "X-YY-AABBCCDD" code marked on the product packaging. In this code, "X" stands for the method of chicken rearing, categorized into: organic (0), free-range (1), barn (2), and cage (3).

The "YY" component of the code indicates the country of origin, while the subsequent numbers denote veterinary identification. The most important factor for consumers to consider when purchasing eggs should be the first digit of the code. Lower numbers indicate that the chickens are given better living conditions and diets, meaning healthier and tastier eggs for consumers.

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