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"Egg in a 2 foot tube" for salad bars: does the resto industry still use them?

FoodFuser Apr 29, 2009 05:33 PM

In the late 70's, when working at the college cafeteria, salad bars were the burgeoning tide.
We installed a salad bar, and I was responsible for it. My senses were distorted when the manager showed me the way that hard boiled eggs for slices were supplied: they came in a long 2 foot long tube, clear plastic, like Oscar Meyer braunschweiger, 2 inches in diameter, to yield maximum slice portions per pound, bypassing the lower yield of the tapered ends of the ovoid egg in the shell. It was like a solid white sausage, with a perfectly centered yolk running down its 2 foot length.

I was shocked, yet transfixed by the product. What controlling process of steamer and injectors and centrifuge had gone into its creation? Wow.

Well, recently I mentioned it to a young person in their first kitchen job, and they challenged me to show it to him on the internet.

I can't find it, which means to him that it's not real and never existed.

Are these tubes still being manufactured and used? Pics? Any ideas of their manufacturing technique and ingredients?

  1. h
    Humbucker Apr 29, 2009 05:43 PM

    Did it look anything like this?


    2 Replies
    1. re: Humbucker
      FoodFuser Apr 29, 2009 06:14 PM

      Good find! I'd love to hear your search string technique.

      Makes sense that it's put out by the masters of colloidal protein extrusion. Do you think it's egg whites, or some blend of surimi?

      1. re: FoodFuser
        Humbucker Apr 29, 2009 06:27 PM

        I didn't find it, it actually popped up in another thread:


        The label says "boiled egg" so I presume it's real egg. Wouldn't it be awesome to have a Cadbury Creme Egg version of this?

    2. c
      chefbeth Apr 30, 2009 04:46 AM

      Yikes! I remember these! I too was both repelled and fascinated with them. I'll have to check with one of my food reps to see it they're still sold. ::shiver:: I hope not!

      I have noticed that on the few remaining salad bars where they have hard boiled eggs, they either quarter them or chop them -- which leads me to believe that the "tube eggs" have been replaced with the 20# bucket of hard boiled, shelled eggs.

      I've got to admite that the "tube egg" could lead to the devilled egg to end all devilled eggs -- but I'm sure I wouldn't be able to eat it!

      1 Reply
      1. re: chefbeth
        DiningDiva Apr 30, 2009 03:51 PM

        Hard boiled and peeled eggs are readily available. Chopped, hard cooked eggs are also available in a 5# vacuum sealed pillow packs.

      2. s
        soupkitten Apr 30, 2009 03:46 PM

        yikes. i too am repulsed yet fascinated. i've never seen anything like this but it doesn't surprise me that it exists. like egg-in-a-carton, i can easily see this product's benefits, yet i will forever be resistant to this method of egg processing, on principle-- or the "skeeve" factor. irony is, it's probably a relatively natural processed food, if it's really 100 percent whole eggs and there aren't a ton of preservatives.

        thing about chickens, and other egg-laying domestic poultry, is that their eggs are sometimes weird. weird , when they are "teenage" birds-- they lay eggs with two yolks, or none at all. like their little chicken bodies haven't quite figured it out yet. the farmer we get eggs from supplies a lot of local groceries and restaurants. he brings the restaurants cases of eggs with two yolks-- extra jumbo--huge things, for the price of jumbo. bless his heart. he knows the eggs will get used in recipes and will not be shunned by the consumer for freakishness. he's a relatively small fproducer, but i'd assume that similarly "weird" eggs are produced in battery operations. there needs to be some way to use these eggs in a processed food form, no? hence egg logs and egg-in-a-carton?

        17 Replies
        1. re: soupkitten
          Fritter May 1, 2009 04:17 PM

          "he knows the eggs will get used in recipes and will not be shunned by the consumer for freakishness"

          Can I get a freaky fried egg sandwich to go?
          When I first saw this thread I thought it was going to be about the boil in bag scrambled eggs.

          1. re: soupkitten
            The Dairy Queen May 2, 2009 06:34 PM

            I encountered my first two yolk egg --ever--when I was cooking breakfast last weekend! It was obviously larger than the other eggs in the carton, so, I was pretty sure it was going to be a two yolker. I wish I could have them for those times that the recipe calls for one white, two yolks!


            1. re: The Dairy Queen
              Caitlin McGrath May 2, 2009 06:53 PM

              Oh my goodness, what a perfect idea! I can make up an extra white for recipes leaning that way, using dehydrated egg whites (e.g., Just Whites), but not a yolk - and if I'm not planning on eating eggs qua eggs right soon, the one extra white goes to waste.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                The Dairy Queen May 3, 2009 01:16 AM

                HA! Funny! Well, now if can find those two-yolk-egg laying teenage chickens so we could guarantee more two-yolkers for you. Can that be determined by candling?

              2. re: The Dairy Queen
                David A. Goldfarb May 2, 2009 07:22 PM

                I haven't noticed them lately, but it used to be that one could get double-yolked eggs regularly at Italian markets. I think they were considered desirable for pasta and baking and some desserts. I don't know that there is necessarily that much more yolk in a double-yolked egg than it a regular egg of the same size, because the two yolks are usually smaller than the single yolk.

                1. re: David A. Goldfarb
                  The Dairy Queen May 3, 2009 01:06 AM

                  Interesting. Well, my two-yolk egg wasn't the same size as the others in the carton. It was clearly bigger, enough so that before I cracked it I called my husband into the kitchen and said, "Look at this egg!" (still in the caron with its 11 mates) and he said, "I'll bet it's a two-yolker." And it was. I was sort of surprised (but glad) that it made it through the sizing process, since it was so much larger than the others. Usually, the sorting of the eggs yields a carton where the size the eggs is more uniform.

                  I wanted to take a picture of it, but realized that it would be a silly photo because it would just like a photo of two eggs. I don't think it would be possible to tell both yolks came from the same shell!


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    DiningDiva May 3, 2009 10:59 AM

                    My grandparents had a poultry ranch when I was growing up. We'd occasionally get a triple yolk in some of the jumbo eggs.

                    1. re: DiningDiva
                      coll May 3, 2009 11:22 AM

                      My local farmer sells double yolk eggs by the dozen, I just buy them for fun. Never saw a triple yolk though, that must be a sight.

                      1. re: DiningDiva
                        The Dairy Queen May 4, 2009 04:18 AM

                        Oh, now I am on a quest for a triple yolk!


                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                          DiningDiva May 4, 2009 08:19 AM

                          If you live in an area where you can get good fresh eggs, just ask for farmer for jumbo size eggs. Egg sizes are (and have been for a long time) regulated so asking for jumbo eggs should get you the right size egg. Double yolks are fairly common in them. Triples are a lot rarer all the way around.

                          1. re: DiningDiva
                            soupkitten May 5, 2009 06:14 AM

                            wow i've cracked a lot of eggs, & never seen a triple yolk!

                            1. re: soupkitten
                              coll May 5, 2009 07:01 AM

                              Me too, I used to crack about a thousand a day for several years. Doubles would suddenly show up in bunches, but never saw triples.

                              1. re: coll
                                DiningDiva May 5, 2009 08:54 AM

                                Triples are not very common. My grandparents owned and operated their poultry ranch for about 30 years. There were open about 7 years before I was born. In all the time my sister and I spent on the ranch - and it was a lot - I probably only saw triple yolks 2 or 3 times and only in Jumbo eggs. It's a pretty rare phenomenea

                                1. re: DiningDiva
                                  The Dairy Queen May 5, 2009 09:56 AM

                                  Diva, can one determine the number of yolks via candling?


                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                    soupkitten May 5, 2009 01:26 PM

                                    i'm not Diva, but yes i believe the multi-yolk phenomenon is determined by candling, and that the double-yolks are not considered to be consumer-friendly. perhaps multi-yolks even affect the grade of the egg because of the variable size of the multi-yolks. if your recipe uses beaten eggs, though, i find them to be completely fine to use/same as regular eggs. your chances of getting a multi-yolk egg would seem to be higher at a farmer's mkt or some such, where the eggs are sold as "farm eggs" and not graded. (we get our double-yolkers from larry schultz' farm in owatonna, so if you buy his eggs and find a double yolk-er, it slipped by him, because i believe he does candle all of his eggs before they are sorted & sold :)

                                    1. re: soupkitten
                                      The Dairy Queen May 5, 2009 01:44 PM

                                      Yes, it was a Larry Schultz egg. :) Someone was clearly napping on the job because it was so. much. larger.

                                      Or, maybe they just needed to round out a dozen and grabbed this one.


                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                      Fritter May 8, 2009 04:29 AM

                                      No need for candeling just look for the big egg!

                2. DiningDiva Apr 30, 2009 03:50 PM

                  It was called Gourmegg (Gourmet + Egg) and yes, it's still around in some version or another.

                  1. David A. Goldfarb May 1, 2009 01:51 PM

                    In a collection of colonial American recipes I have at home called something like _The Colonial Williamsburg Cookbook_ there is a recipe for something like "An Egg the Size of Twenty," which as I recall involved separating 20 eggs, cooking the yolks in a bladder of some sort to make a big yolk, and then cooking it inside a larger bladder filled with the whites to make one big egg, which would then be sliced and served. That may offer some clue as to how the tube egg is made.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: David A. Goldfarb
                      FoodFuser May 1, 2009 04:24 PM

                      Excellent connection.

                      1. re: David A. Goldfarb
                        mpjmph May 2, 2009 06:27 AM

                        And I can just see the giant egg on a platter as it's presented at the table and carefully carved to extract every ounce of drama.

                        1. re: David A. Goldfarb
                          The Dairy Queen May 2, 2009 06:36 PM

                          Now, see, that sounds neat, not so freakish. The effort required to achieve the effect of one giant egg kind of reminds me of the effort necessary for the "yolkless" eggs in Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese.


                        2. s
                          salsailsa May 1, 2009 08:13 PM

                          Wow. I've never seen this before.

                          1. Will Owen May 2, 2009 03:36 PM

                            I remember this all too well, and I sincerely hope it's met its demise. Aside from the utterly uniform size of the slices, their fakeness was betrayed by an oddly grainy texture to the whites, so unlike the smooth rubberiness of the natural boiled egg. My girlfriend at the time was working in one of those rawther pretentious Yuppified lunch joints in Palo Alto, and her manager always had the salad bar person kinda stir the egg slices around in the tub so they'd be a bit broken up and messy and not look so fake.

                            1. chef chicklet May 2, 2009 06:13 PM

                              Ewwwh. And I thought the whole eggs in a carton was gross. This looks cleaner, but so strange, my senses are not recoginzing my familiar egg, and it just isn't right.

                              1. greygarious May 4, 2009 01:43 PM

                                I've always been under the impression that the egg in an Egg McMuffin is extruded from a tube. Don't know when or where I heard that.

                                10 Replies
                                1. re: greygarious
                                  kmcarr May 4, 2009 02:22 PM

                                  Not unless they changed it from when my brother worked there (which was admittedly ~20 years ago). For Egg McMuffins ring molds are set down on the griddle and a fresh egg is cracked into each. The yolk of the egg is broken with the corner of the spatula; this is done so that the yolk and white adjust to an even thickness. The eggs are cooked until the whites an yolks are completely set.

                                  1. re: kmcarr
                                    FoodFuser May 4, 2009 02:59 PM

                                    Yep, km, that was my first job. Here's a pic of the ring molds, and the inventor Herb Peterson.

                                    1. re: FoodFuser
                                      Will Owen May 4, 2009 03:28 PM

                                      The only reason I have for wishing continued prosperity to McDonald's (aside from reliably cleanish restrooms at frequent intervals, so necessary to the elderly motorist) is the McMuffin family. Don't care for the burgers, that Filet-O-Fish is just weird (CHEESE??), and frankly the fries are not what they were...but if I'm on the road before 10:30 AM, I just gotta hit the Golden Arches. The sausage version is my favorite: two of those and a hash browns cake. Madness!

                                      1. re: Will Owen
                                        Sharuf May 5, 2009 03:23 AM

                                        I like McD's egg burrito (with salsa por favor) and the 2-for-a-buck apple pies. The burrito is only a dollar, so that gives me a two-buck breakfast. Screamin' deal, I'd say.

                                  2. re: greygarious
                                    coll May 5, 2009 03:20 AM

                                    No, the egg part comes already made in a patty. Just nuke and serve! Made by the same company that makes the pastuerized liquid eggs in a carton. They're not too bad tasting actually.

                                    1. re: coll
                                      FoodFuser May 5, 2009 03:00 PM

                                      When did McD's change to that system? Did you work there when they were doing it prefabbed rather than made fresh on the grill?

                                      I can surely see how they'd make the change if they could get away with it.

                                      What's the company that makes it?

                                      I may need to retire my beloved egg frying rings and head for the freezer section.

                                      1. re: FoodFuser
                                        coll May 6, 2009 03:13 AM

                                        No I worked at a deli many years ago and made egg sandwiches from scratch. (Ha! chickens, scratch, get it?) Anyway now I sell food, and this line is pretty popular, especially the premade omelettes, which you will find on most catering tables nowadays, if they're just sitting there alread made. The company is Pappetti, although according to this link they go by another name now, like so many other companies. But they were the original in this field, everyone knows the name Pappetti. Not sure how many products they provide for retail though.

                                        1. re: coll
                                          FoodFuser May 6, 2009 03:28 AM

                                          Dang. That is enlightening. Thanks.

                                        2. re: FoodFuser
                                          Sooeygun May 6, 2009 05:34 AM

                                          They haven't changed pre fab, at least not in Canada. The eggs are 'real' eggs fried in the rings. Just watching them make them on Breakfast TV for McHappy Day.

                                        3. re: coll
                                          embee May 6, 2009 06:18 AM

                                          They just ran a major ad campaign in Toronto. They claim that a fresh egg is cracked to order for every Egg McMuffin. Damned if I know.

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