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Egg (food)

Bird and fish eggs are common food sources. Fish eggs are known as roe or caviar.

The most commonly-used bird eggs are those from the chicken, duck and goose, but smaller eggs such as quail eggs are occasionally used as a gourmet ingredient, as are the largest bird eggs, from ostriches. Eggs are frequently used in both sweet and savoury dishes as a source of protein and/or to bind the other ingredients in a recipe together. Sometimes the whole egg is cooked together. Sometimes the egg yolk is used separately from the egg white.

Many who practice vegetarianism feel it is acceptable to eat eggs as the bird is not killed and the eggs remain unfertilized. People concerned about animal welfare (especially vegans) are reluctant to eat mass-produced eggs as factory farming is considered cruel. Even free range eggs are sometimes unacceptable to those who are concerned about animal welfare as it is felt that alleged free range birds may not be much better off than confined birds.

The primary cooking techniques for eggs are:

Eggs may also be pickled, hard-boiled and refrigerated, or eaten raw, though the latter is not recommended for people who may be susceptible to salmonella, such as the old, the infirm or pregnant women.

When eggs become rotten, the yolk will turn green and the egg will emit a sulfurous smell when broken. Although deemed offensive by most Western palates, fermented eggs are considered a delicacy by some in China, when prepared using a special method which includes letting them sit for three months to age (or rot, depending on one's interpretation).

Shell color preference

Different breeds of chicken can lay eggs varying from whites through to brown and rarer colours such as speckled green. Although there are absolutely no nutritional differences, there is often a strong cultural preference for one color or another. In the USA chicken eggs are overwhelmingly white, because of the mistaken perception that these eggs are purer than light-brown eggs. In the United Kingdom eggs are overwhelmingly light-brown because of an equally mistaken belief that they are more wholesome than white eggs.

External link

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Last updated: 02-11-2005 09:52:25
Last updated: 02-11-2005 17:47:38