Used both as an ingredient and a main dish, eggs are a food product produced by poultry. Though there are many types of eggs available for food preparation (duck, goose, quail, turkey, ostrich), hen, or chicken eggs, are the most commonly eaten.
The Hebrews, Egyptians, Greeks and other ancients regarded the egg as a symbol of the universe. The outer shell represented the sky and the inner skin, the air. The egg white represented water, and the yolk, the earth. Eggs were presented as offerings to their gods and used on occasions of ceremonial celebration.
Types of chicken eggs include:
Chicken eggs are typically classified and sold in four standard sizes: medium, large, extra large and jumbo. Unless otherwise specified, most recipes use large eggs.
They are also categorized into grades AA, A and B according to USDA standards for quality. Always choose AA or A eggs—these have a well-formed yolk surrounded by a firm-textured white. Lower grade eggs will have thin whites that spread when cracked open. They will also not be as fresh.
Be sure to open the carton at the store to check that none of the eggs are cracked. Slightly move each one with your finger to see that they aren't stuck to the bottom of the carton, which indicates they have leaked. Also check the "sell by" date.
Eggs should always be refrigerated in the carton in which they came. This helps keep them from losing moisture and absorbing odors from other foods. Storing eggs large-end-up will also help retain freshness, keeping the yolks centered.
Eggs are best in flavor when used within one week of purchase, however they may be refrigerated for four to five wee
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