This past summer, to get fresh eggs at the Oak Park Farmers’ Market, we discovered that we pretty much had to be at the stand for Wettstein Organic Farm or Genesis Farms at the moment the market opened. Many times when we arrived for eggs around 8AM, we were greeted apologetically with the words, “Sorry, we’re out.”
And that was always great news because it’s evidence that Oak Parkers, like so many others, are coming to realize the difference a fresh egg makes.
Yes, they’re more expensive. But when people say, “I’d never pay that much for eggs,” I ask them how much they paid for their last cup of Starbucks. We get fresh eggs for $3.50-4.50/dozen, which is more than Dominick’s or Jewel charges, sure, but the texture and taste differences are very clear.
Cracking a fresh egg into a pan, you can see there’s life in it; the yolk has tensile strength, structuring into a semi-circular bubble rather than collapsing like a deflated basketball, and the white portion is milkier, more liquid, as though the component elements have not yet grown old , tired and congealed. They are, in a word, “fresh” in a way that most grocery eggs have not been for a long time.
When cooked, these genuinely fresh eggs are very soft, almost airy, with a tender delicacy of texture not possible with eggs held one week or more, which I believe is average for most that arrive along a massive nationwide distribution system.
Cooked correctly, the flavor of a fresh egg is delicate and buttery.
If you haven’t experienced a farm fresh egg in a while, you really should. As Lance said in Pulp Fiction, “When you try it, you’ll know where your money went.”
In the winter, you can pick up a fresh dozen from Wettstein Organic Farm at Buzz Café, from 12-3PM, on 1/8, 2/12, 3/12, and 4/9.