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Wild and free eggs

After reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma," I'm interested in trying really wild and free organic, cage free, running around in a pasture, natural-fed (not corn-fed) eggs. I'm curious if they are truly better. Which farmer's market in Center City (or Whole Foods or Trader Joe's) has the 'best,' meaning best treated, most natural-pasture-life eggs? And have you noticed a difference in their taste or consistency from regular supermarket eggs? Thank you.

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  1. I haven't noticed much of a difference taste-wise. But as long as those organic, free-range eggs can be purchased with wicked-good bacon, breads, homemade butter, other meats, etc. as they can at the various Amish stands at the Reading Terminal Market, I'm a happy dude.

    1. we've also not noticed a difference except for the price. however, it makes my tree-hugging-type roommates happy, so we get the free range eggs. :) i think she gets them from the RTM.

      1. Farm fresh, organic eggs are amazing and truly different IMHO. We buy ours through Winter Harvest -- a weekly produce, meat, and dairy delivery sponsored by Farm to the City. Check out: http://www.farmtocity.org/Home.asp?mn...
        for more information.

        The eggs are supplied by Forest Acre Farms -- Forrest Acres Farm located in Gap PA, Lancaster County. They are even marked with the day that they are laid, generally the day before I get them.

        1. I get the Forrest Acres eggs too and definitely notice a difference. First, the color of the yolks is much more bright and vibrant than supermarket eggs. I find them much more flavorful when eaten alone, fried or scrambled. They don't act much different in recipes, so since they are so expensive, I tend to use them only for applications where they really make a difference.

          1. Fair Food stand in RTM sells free range eggs.

            1 Reply
            1. re: missclaudy

              Thanks. We tried the Meadow Run 'pastured laying hens' eggs over easy this morning, compared against one normal egg. The yolks were slightly more orange and definitely creamier. They would probably make a mean hollandaise. Thank you.

            2. Great book eh? Eggs can be tricky because our state (PA) believe it or not has NO, NONE, Zip, Zero, NADA, rules for eggs. They only quantify size. Quality is basically "are they whole---Sell em."

              Try www.eatwild.com for a list of farm sources. As for fresh--crack them on a plate and see if the yolk stands proud or squats and sags. Proud is good. Then gently fry over easy or SS up and taste. You'll know.

              Cluck on!

              1. Juggling Bride.
                Its a loaded question because some people (a Lot actually) cant taste the difference in variation between similar subtle flavors.
                CLEARLY farm eggs taste very different and better than the average supermarket eggs.
                Part of the confusion from those who claim not to taste a difference results from 4 issues.
                1. The aforementioned "bull in a china shop" tastebuds.
                2. Mislabelling, not all farm eggs are equal.
                3. The Complexity of the final dish.
                4. Knowing how to cook eggs properly without overcooking them.

                Meadow run farm eggs taste very different but then you dont want to make a quiche or any dish that involves more than 3 ingredients with them........ and certainly no strong flavors.

                Scrambled eggs with butter.
                Poached eggs
                eggs over easy.
                No crepes, cheese omelettes or any of that stuff.

                The bright Orange Not Yellow yolks are a good indicator.
                Most "farm" eggs are just local small batch eggs and the chickens dont really have any special feed.
                Meadow run eggs especially the small pullet eggs are excellent.
                fair food farstand at RTM

                1. I occasionally get the ones from the Fitler's Square farmer's market. I don't think it goes on every Saturday in the winter, possibly every other saturday morning, but they're very tasty.

                  And I second Chowtalk's recommendation that a simple preparation is best to showcase the flavor, scrambled with some salt, or maybe an omelette with some herbs.

                  1. I buy most of my eggs from Godshall's in Reading Terminal. They are, as missclaudy describes, with wonderful deep color to the yolks, and at times with double yolks. You can taste the difference.

                    I do not buy their organic eggs, on the assumption that the only difference is organic feed, since they do come from Lancaser farms. I've asked if their non organic eggs are cage free, and unfortunately the sales folks are not that clear. I'm quite sure they are minimally processed, without hormones and antibiotics. And they certainly taste great.

                    I always insisted on eating natural eggs when I visited home for more than a few days at a time, and my mother would repeatedly buy supermarket eggs, telling me the package said "farm fresh". I don't think I ever saw a carton of commercial eggs that didn't say "farm fresh"!

                    As for real fresh eggs, when I visit my brother's farm in California, we always hardboil eggs that are a couple of days old, as that day's eggs are impossible to peel.

                    Good eggs seem expensive by comparison to commercial, but as Felafelboy says, they really aren't all that expensive for what they are.

                    1. Folks, we've removed some off topic posts from this discussion. Please continue to suggest places to buy free range eggs locally. However, if you'd like to discuss whether there's a taste difference, please start a new thread on the General Chowhounding Topics board, where all hounds can add their input and benefit from the discussion. Thanks.