Or, “How to tell a good egg from a bad egg.” I really am talking about how to tell if the eggs you have are fresh enough to use or if they should be tossed (it’s been a busy week and weekend, so metaphor is a little beyond my ability right now).
When the eggs you buy are of questionable merit, either because they’ve been sitting in the open in an Ashgabat summer for an undisclosed amount of time, or are in the refrigerator case in a supermarket in Monrovia (but imported from maybe India, Spain, or Ukraine) that may or may not be turned on over night, it’s good to have an easy way to tell if you should use them or if you’re risking a bout of the gurgling guts.
You simply put these eggs of questionable merit to the Monty Python Witch Test: see if they float.
On the right is a good egg. It sank to the bottom of the teacup. I’ve read that if they sink, but one end points up, you really ought to just hard boil them because they aren’t all that fresh. Since all the eggs I buy in Monrovia have been imported and aren’t really farm fresh, they almost all wind up vertical, rather than horizontal. If I could find fresh eggs here I’d happily buy them, but it seems that the chickens aren’t really big layers and the people who do keep poultry really only get enough eggs for their own consumption.
On the left is a bad egg. As eggs age, the air cell in them gets bigger and bigger. When that air cell gets big enough to make the egg float, it means that the insides have aged sufficiently to make it a little bit risky to eat.
Not that this is new or earth-shattering information unavailable elsewhere, but I’ve found it useful. Now, whenever I get ready to cook with eggs, a teacup with water is part of the required equipment.