During my exploration of a non-wheat diet, I went to Whole Foods (now owned by Amazon) to buy some variety flours. While scoring some Buckwheat and Sorghum flour, I also decided to just “pay up” and buy some eggs. We were out of eggs. I usually buy them at Walmart or Costco or some other low price bulk place. Eggs are eggs, right?
Looking at the prices, they were all a bit high. One of my behaviours is that if I’m paying up, I don’t buy the lowest end overpriced thing. Looking over the choices, they had brown eggs. I like brown eggs. The only difference is the chicken they come from and the red ones don’t produce quite as much, so brown eggs cost more. But it’s easier to pick bits of shell out of things, and you get a prettier view of the hard boiled ones in the fridge. I just like how they look. Looking at the brown choices, one was “Pasture Raised”. Figuring that ought to mean more “good stuff” getting into the egg, that’s what I bought. I mean, what the hell, I’m already “paying up”, might as well go all the way.
Whole Foods house brand “365 everyday value” Brown Pasture Raised eggs. Grade A Large.
At home the next day I made 2 fried eggs for breakfast. OMG! The yolks were that pumpkin orange color I’d not seen since I was a kid and we bought them from a local farm, or sometimes I collected them from a barnyard as my Dad talked to the owner. These did not disappoint. Just a generally richer flavor and texture. Even the whites, while still liquid, had a bit more straw color to them. My only complaint would be that the whites spread a bit more than they would for “very fresh” – so I presume these don’t sell fast here. Not any worse than the general commercial eggs, though.
I’m sold. 100%. The flavor and texture was worth it, and the color is just, well, right.
So a week later I was filling the usual shopping list at Costco. Still had a couple of the Whole Foods eggs, but would be out in a day or two. Seems Costco also sells “Large Brown Pasture Raised Eggs” in a 24 egg flat. Noticeably cheaper too. Hey, what a deal! (Not!) Well, 2 days later I crack the last Whole Foods egg in the pan. Lovely pumpkin orange yolk. Then I crack the fist of the Costco eggs into the pan. I lemon yellow egg yolk greets me. What? Let’s just say that the A / B flavor test left much to be desired from the Costco egg as well. More fluid (not as thick) and a weak flavor.
The next day I made a batch of scrambled eggs. The thin lemon yellow yolks gave me a lemon yellow scramble (well actually lighter than a lemon…). The flavor was only somewhat better than “scrambled egg whites”. It was scrambled eggs all right, but more like one yolk in 2 worth of whites. They’ve not really improved over subsequent meals. They’re “OK”, but nothing special.
Not all Pasture Raised eggs are the same, and COSTCO isn’t buying the better ones. Scratch COSTCO eggs off the shopping list.
I’m really looking forward to my next dozen of Whole Foods eggs. Those chickens were in a pasture with edible greens and bugs.
It is highly likely that they source locally (hey, it’s a “green” thing and they are into that) so this may not hold in other areas; but it is worth checking it out.
Those memories of Real Eggs ™ from 1/2 century ago? Well you can still get those eggs if you look for them; somewhere.
Turns out I’m willing to pay up for that quality. So I will. I’ll still occasionally try other less costly brands from other stores, like maybe Trader Joe’s, just to make sure I’m getting a decent deal.
It is probably worth it to let the egg sellers know quality sells and you want quality.
So as of now, I’ll be making a Whole Foods run about once a week. Even if just for the eggs and “funny Flour”.