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Multicolored Eggs From Diverse Types of Hens

I got a container of a half dozen colorful eggs from different hens, and the flavor was very good. I thought I remembered buying it at Trader Joe's, but they don't seem to carry it, and it's not Googling.

I don't buy eggs at Whole Foods, and it doesn't sound like the sort of thing my grocer sells. But it was definitely a commercialized product, with glossy artwork and everything.

Can anyone help me remember where I found these?

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  1. Never knew Jerry Garcia raised hens ... Who would've thunk it.

    1. Been to a farmer's market lately? They could be somebody's homegrown eggs in a commercial carton.

      1. Jim- I don't know the brand name but I bought what sounds like the same thing this past summer and I did get them WF. I believe they were from ME. I have not seen them in a while but I don't get to WF very often.

        The eggs were varying hues with the deepest color being a pretty blue/green. They were expensive but I couldn't resist.

        The picture on the cover was of a field of grass with a few hens in the center. It was the WF in Hingham, Ma if that helps.

        12 Replies
        1. re: foodieX2

          Huh! Maybe whole foods after all. I'll take a run by, and if so, report back to the thread. Because, again, they were quite good.

          1. re: Jim Leff

            I'm guessing there was some placebo effect in play because I've never noticed a difference. We have friends who had Araucana hens and the eggs were pretty on the outside but indistinguishable inside (just like brown eggs).

            1. re: ferret

              Interesting. I had a little backyard laying flock for a few years, and those blue-and-green egglayers had eggs that were the best eggs I've ever eaten. They were better than the brown and white eggs, I have no idea why. They were also huge.

              1. re: EWSflash

                The primary difference in egg flavor is the birds' diet, but there's really little difference in flavor between breeds (and certainly little to no difference between cage-free/factory-farmed/organic - they'll appear different but the flavor is the same).

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    Try eggs in Europe. Average ones there are vastly richer and more flavorful than the best, freshest and best-fed ones here. It ain't the feed, so it's got to be the breed.

                    1. re: Jim Leff

                      I've lived in Europe quite a bit, and totally disagree. We keep many of the same breeds of laying hens. The eggs from my farmers' market are as good as the best I've had in Europe. (Our mass-produced eggs, OTOH, would be spurned by Europeans.)

                      1. re: Jim Leff

                        Sorry, but "Eggs in Europe" is a pretty crazy generalization. It all depends on what the hens are fed, how they are kept, etc. etc.

                        I've had awful eggs in "Europe", and fantastic eggs here in the US.

                    2. re: ferret

                      I was responding specifically to the statement "The primary difference in egg flavor is the birds' diet, but there's really little difference in flavor between breeds."

                      The term "flavor" is difficult to quantify - much less terms like "quality".

                      But I'll say this: I've eaten eggs snatched in the moment from underneath household farm chickens lovingly raised and fed, and found them as flavorless as every other American egg I've eaten in the last twenty years. I've tried perhaps 50 of the most acclaimed farms, renowned for their egg quality. All tasted utterly flavorless to me. These Whole Foods ones do have a tiny bit of flavor. Not much, but some.

                      By contrast, I've never had a supermarket egg in Europe (specifically, all around Spain, Portugal, and Italy, with absolute consistency every time) that didn't practically provoke an orgasm from its depth of flavor.

                      We can argue relative quality. That's aesthetic, and no one "owns" aesthetic judgements. But is there a perceivable difference in flavor? There's no doubt in my mind, and I've spent decades tasting things for a living.

                      1. re: Jim Leff

                        "I've spent decades tasting things for a living?" Give me a break. If you achieve orgasm by ingesting a great egg, more power to you, but I absolutely do not buy your claim of blanket superiority of "European" eggs. It's simply not true. Seems you're buying your American eggs from a bad source.

                        1. re: pikawicca

                          Quick thoughts:

                          1. this site is populated by (and was built for) people who are sent into ecstasy by delicious foods. Sorry if you can't relate, but Chowhound really isn't the best place to expect to get "a break" from that sort of thing, I'm afraid.

                          2. No, I didn't claim blanket superiority. In fact, I explicitly noted that superiority is in the eyes of the beholder. Not sure how you missed that. What I did claim was a blanket DIFFERENCE of flavor. If you disagree, that's cool, though, and duly noted!

                          3. as for my having bought my American eggs from "a bad source", I guess you really didn't read my posting.

                        2. re: Jim Leff

                          You are 100% correct. I live in Europe and am in the States two months every summer. I buy eggs at Iaconos farm, and I get eggs laid a few hours old at best.

                          Pretty flavorless. Never better than any egg I've ever eaten anywhere in Europe.

                          Here's an objective test. Eat a fried/scrambled/poached egg and drink a glass of water. A tasty egg means you can't wash the smell away from the glass easily. And if you try that with American eggs, you'll see the smell washes out effortlessly.

                          As a side note, mexican eggs are delicious. As are Brazilian, venezuelan and argentine eggs. But Indian eggs aargh now we're talking.

              2. You might try searching for araucana or ameraucana commercial eggs. Those are the blue and greenish ones.

                I have had flocks of chickens for decades, all kinds of different laying breeds. I love araucana eggs the best. They have a larger and firmer yolk than other layers. So when they are ranged or have a natural diet that produce a lot of omega 3, the yolks taste significantly richer -given that there is more yolk to taste, the difference is significant to me. I think this is why so many people prefer their eggs.

                3 Replies
                1. re: sedimental

                  I sometimes buy Araucana, eggs but they tend to be on the small side, and that makes them less than ideal for baking, IMO.

                  1. re: sedimental

                    Thank you for saying that, sedimental. Pureblood Araucanas, by and large, are fairly uncommon, most hens that lay eggs in the blue-green range are mixed breeds, hence the name Ameraucana. If picawikka's eggs were small, they may have come from bantam hens or a combination of smaller breeds. Or even purebred araucanas. My hens were pretty good-sized birds and one of them laid near duck-egg sized eggs. The blue and green eggs I had from them were better than the barred rock brown eggs or the Polish crested little white eggs. Period.

                    1. re: sedimental

                      Interestingly, I think those are the ones predominating the Whole Foods egg collection I'm talking about here!

                      I'll seek out more, thanks!

                    2. You can find them under the brand name "Pete and Gerry's". Its a R.I hen breeder and I can find them in most Massachusetts supermarkets.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: shaebones

                        Plus one. I have been buying Pete & Gerry's eggs for years, but am ashamed to say the blue/green eggs creeped me out a bit. Finally bought one of their 6 packs with brown and blue mixed, and their blue eggs have the most wonderful orange yolks.

                        1. re: shaebones

                          We get Pete and Gerry's at Whole Foods here in So. Florida

                        2. We sure can see a difference in the eggs from the supermarket and the ones we get from the Amish farmers here in Delaware. The chickens are free range and the eggs have almost orange, deep orange, yolks. Their flavor is so much richer, almost like the essence of what you expect it to be, but exagerated. We got the same flavors from our neighbors eggs from free range chickens all over their yard and wooded area. Those guys even came-a-calling across the street to our yard & woods. The eggs from the neighbors had prettily colored shells, which they said were standard for the breeds they raised.
                          I don't know about orgasmic, but they are damned good.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Nanzi

                            That is my experience too. I have purchased some good local eggs via WF and my farmers market and have found them superior in taste/color to the commercial brands but nothing beats the ones I get from neighbor.

                            The eggs run on the large size in a variety of hues from pale tan to dark tan and blue. The yolks run from a deep gold to almost dark orange. On their own (fried, scrambled, poaches etc) you can easily taste the difference from commercial.

                          2. Well, a friend of ours has her own hens (I haven't a clue what breed and I really couldn't care less) whose eggs we get all the time. They are blue, green & gray, and are the most delicious eggs I have had. No egg-gasms, but better than any egg I've had in Europe.

                            Could it be that ever elusive "personal taste" or preference thing, perhaps?

                            1 Reply
                            1. We've had many chicken breeds for decades, purebred, crossbred, commercial layers, heritage breeds, bantams etc. I have never been able to tell the difference between breeds once the white/brown/blue shell has been cracked. The only thing we find that has an effect is the diet and the seasons. The best and richest eggs are laid in the spring (fresh plant growth and lots of bugs), followed by autumn, summer and finally winter (mainly layer feed). I'm always amazed when we crack a commercial egg next to our eggs in the spring. The orange/yellow colour dominates and I love making lemon squares with them.

                              2 Replies
                                1. re: earthygoat

                                  Like!!! We have raised chickens, ducks and turkeys. It's all about the feed and whether the birds have access to free range to eat a more varied diet. Loved the colors of the yolks in our chooks. Raise any bird on commercial feed and you get eggs that taste like supermarket eggs.

                                  BTW. We have tasted something different in eggs in Japan but we totally assumed that the commercial feed was different than commercial feed I the US.

                                2. hmmm... Have you bought any eggs from Martha Stewart lately? She raises chickens that lay eggs of a different hue. She says it saves the bother of dying them at Easter. They could be from a farmer's market sort of place, assuming you buy eggs from strangers. '-)

                                  There's also a chance that wherever you bought them, they were an "odd lot" that got in by mistake. I bought a bag of Hershey's Kisses for Christmas, and ONE of them was white chocolate with red peppermint stripes. Two of us wanted it. I lost.