The hand-made brown wooden sign down the road from Grandma’s was painted in white, hung from a tree, and advertised “Organic Brown Eggs $2.” The new neighbor had around 50 beautiful Isa Brown laying hens; he also had new baby chicks only a few days old. My little girls adored seeing the chicks under a heat lamp in a cardboard box in his garage. The neighbor told us they were even hatched by the hens. (We didn’t have chickens on our farm when I was young, but all our neighbors ordered their chicks from a catalog and they arrived in a box by mail.) The lone rooster, it was reported, crowed every morning at 4:17!
My baby was so excited to see all the fluffy brown hens running around – and also, no doubt, to know where the eggs she was about to eat came from – she screeched with joy! We bought two dozen of the beautiful brown eggs for $4.00. (We would have paid $10.00 at our local farmers market.)
At home, I curiously conducted a taste test against conventional store-bought eggs. At 20 months and 4 years, the members of my tasting panel did not have most discerning palates; they liked all the eggs hard-boiled and scrambled. My husband and I also participated. Here are our results:
· Egg shells: Conventional – pale brown; organic brown – darker, but still relatively pale brown with (pretty) brown speckles
· Egg yolks both when raw and cooked: Conventional – yellow; organic brown – brighter orange-yellow
· Taste: Conventional – the egg-y taste I’m accustomed to and adore; organic brown – richer, deeper egg flavor