Chefs Taste Eggs

One large chicken egg contains 6.3g of high-quality complete protein. They are an excellent source of Vitamins A, B-12 and D, and even the most expensive egg is still a cheap source of protein.

But, how do they taste? Is there much of a difference between supermarket, specialty and farmers’ market eggs? We were about to find out.

The challenge

Taste and evaluate several types of chicken eggs.

We would also evaluate the best timing for a boiled quail egg, and duck eggs whites would be whipped to judge loft.

The tasters

Judges Kirstin Kotelko, Nathin Bye and Charles Rothman taste eggs.
Judges Kirstin Kotelko, Nathin Bye and Charles Rothman taste eggs.

Brayden Kozak
Three Boars

Blair Lebsack

Doreen Prei
Shane Loiselle

Brad Smoliak

Nathin Bye
Lazia Group (Wildflower, East and 2012 Edmonton Gold Medal Plates champ)

Amanda LeNeve
The Tomato food & drink

Kirstin Kotelko
Spring Creek Ranch Premium Beef

Charles Rothman
Edmonton Petroleum Club

The eggs

  1. Supermarket White
  2. Supermarket Brown
  3. Supermarket Free Run
  4. Nature’s Best Nature Egg
  5. Nature’s Best Omega Three
  6. Sunworks Farm Organic

The eggs were evaluated blind (we didn’t know which was which until we took a look at the control sheet) and comments were anonymous.

Shane Loiselle (Zinc) fries up.
Shane Loiselle (Zinc) fries up.

We met at Kitchen. Shane took first shift at the stove, turning out several perfectly-cooked, sunny side up eggs. Blair was next, scrambling the next batch with some butter.

Brad was in the back timing quail eggs at three, four and five minutes to see which gave the best result. We thought four but the extra minute on either side wasn’t criminal — good to know there is some room for lack of precision. The chefs chatted about the best way to sous vide an egg while we plated the fried and scrambled eggs.

The wheels fell off after we finished tasting through the chicken eggs. Eggs are relentlessy difficult to taste over and over again — the palate tires quickly of creamy yolk and gelatinous white. We bailed on the how high can you get your duck eggs whites? Brayden’s were sky-high after a few quick turns of the whisk. After a last sip of Prosecco, everybody headed back to work.

The results

The white and brown supermarket eggs, including the free run, did not fare well. Comments ranged from pale, bland, with a powdery yolk to smooth but almost no taste. Perhaps it was the supermarket or the age of the eggs, but they were nobody’s favourite egg. The white were the cheapest eggs tasted, but the brown, with no discernable difference in flavour or quality, were almost $2 more.

The Sunworks Farm and the Naturegg Nature’s Best were either number one or number two on everyone’s list with comments such as fresh, richer egg flavour, balanced flavour, good flavour, creamy, eggy.

Shane Loiselle, Doreen Prei (Zinc) and Brayden Kozak chow down.
Shane Loiselle, Doreen Prei (Zinc) and Brayden Kozak chow down.

The Omega Three eggs elicted interesting responses with flavours described as odd, awful, best to start, then odd, fishy, yuck. There were some defenders from a nutritional standpoint; but they didn’t do well in the taste test.

The specialty eggs and the farmers’ market eggs were all in the $5 price range, almost twice the price of the white supermarket eggs. Is it worth it from a taste perspective? Yes! Keep in mind even at $5 a dozen we’re still talking about 60¢ an egg, that’s practically lentil protein prices. Unless you’re buying several dozen eggs a week, the premium could probably fit into most budgets.

A few weeks after the tasting, when I could face an egg again, I poached one and had it on a piece of toast. I paid attention to the taste. It was creamy, eggy and rich-tasting with no off-flavours. All it needed was pinch of sea salt and a crack of black pepper. It was a Four Whistle Farm egg, bought at Strathcona Farmers’ Market. It was good.

By Mary Bailey.

Photos by Amanda LeNeve.