Hang onto your egg baskets, folks. It would be illegal to sell an American egg in most other countries.
This is because we sell washed eggs and they do not. Nor do they refrigerate them. I know, it’s an (egg)shell shock. But to England, most of Europe and Asia, and pretty much the rest of the world, we are the weird ones.
Here’s the poop, quite literally, on eggs: When an egg has a bit of chicken poop on it, and maybe even some feathers, they just take it home. Maybe they brush it off, maybe they actually wash it, but they don’t gasp in horror the way we would.
In the U.S., Japan, and Scandinavia, farmers give eggs a bath and shampoo and then a thorough drying. Then we chill the eggs, and sell sparkling clean beauties to people who take them home and put them in the refrigerator where they keep more than twice as long as the unchilled ones.
Elsewhere, they sell them at room temperature and store them at home the same way. How can that be safe, you ask? Well, here’s the deal. Our machines that wash the eggs and remove the chicken doo, also remove a thin coating that keeps bacteria out. So we spray the eggs with oil and chill them, which then keeps germs away. We also go through a bunch of other safety steps.
But this seems like a lot of work and expense in some countries, so they don’t do it. Also, not everyone has big refrigerators.
How do they prevent salmonella? In Great Britain and some other countries, they vaccinate hens against it, which we do not, since we do all that other stuff.
So you can choose to wash and then chill eggs, like we do here, or go the other route and don’t wash and don’t chill them. But you can’t leave a washed egg out at room temperature, because it will start to sweat, and moisture can transport bacteria into the egg. Also mold. So if you buy a refrigerated egg at the market, take it home and just chill, baby.
Which method is best? Both seem to work. It seems to be a perfect eggsample of agreeing to disagree. And I say bring on the Benedicts, the omelettes, the quiches and cakes. What’s a little diseggreement between friends?