Wild Hive Farm Eggs Win Serious Eats Taste
Test and Why.
It was pretty exciting news. The very popular food blog, NY Serious Eats (9.4 million page views) taste tested eggs from a number of Union Square Greenmarket egg vendors. According to the article, “All taste tests are conducted completely blind and without discussion. Tasters taste samples in random order. For example, taster A may taste sample 1 first, while taster B will taste sample 6 first. This is to prevent palate fatigue from unfairly giving any one sample an advantage…” Who knew that palate fatigue could be a problem?
Anyway, by carefully cooking each egg to what they determined to be a perfect temperature for a perfectly boiled egg, they peeled, mashed and lightly salted them with exactly 1% salt for the tasting. They concluded that “tasters almost unanimously picked the Wild Hive Farm eggs with super orange yolks as their favorites…when tasters re-tasted eggs 100% blindfolded, they ranked their eggs in the same order.”
According to J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Serious Eats report, “…these were the freshest eggs we found, with tight whites and tall yolks. When mashed and tasted, the richness was the overwhelming consensus. Tons of good yolky flavor combined with a smooth tender, creamy texture put these guys at a clear winning advantage. They cost a buck or two more than the competitors, but I think it’s worth it. With most of the other eggs we tasted, you might as well be getting them in the supermarket.”
Wow! Strong stuff and the truth is there are a number of good reasons that our eggs taste as good as they do. They are from heritage breeds, Light Brahmas and Black Jersey Giants. These are not huge egg layers, and they take time to mature, but the eggs have extra large yolks and thick shells. The rest of it is down to the lifestyle and food that Wild Hive Farm hens enjoy.
You see you can’t fake a fresh egg. When the test described the tight whites and tall yolks, these are absolutely a function of freshness. As the egg ages, although perfectly edible for quite some time, the gelatinous aspect of the yolk and white diminishes and they get more watery.
You can’t fake the food the hens eat either. In the taste test they photographed eggs from each farm cracked into a white bowl. There was no doubt that Wild Hive eggs had a much more orange yolk, the others were yellow. Orange yolks are determined by the food the chickens eat. The more grass and pasture fed they are, the richer the taste and color of the yolks. Our hens eat some Lightning Tree Farm organic feed and the larger pieces of corn and bran that are a by-product of milling our polenta and some Wild Hive wheat bran. But the key factor is that they are largely pasture fed. They’re happy, healthy omnivores and that makes a tasty egg. It’s as simple as that. Check out the Serious Eats article.