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Dec 5, 2013 03:11 AM

Egg. Beillevaire. Nirvana.

Ecstatic about eggs? Mais oui et oui, if they come from Beillevaire.
Beillevaire eggs are stamped "1", which means free-range.
The bright orange-yellow yolk color already tells you you're in for a different taste. In fact it is so tasty, so much more so than rôturiers eggs that in order to appreciate it, you should use it in recipes that do not take too much cooking, in order to get the full taste and texture of rich egg-ness: making mayonnaisie, or soft-boiled egg, or sinking it raw into Carbonara, or a gooey runny omelette…
And below is the EU eg-stamp ranking:
0 = organic egg production
1 = free-range eggs
2 = deep litter indoor housing
3 = battery cage farming
The only other time I had eggs as good as - or slightly better than - Beillevaire's was when we bought them from a lock-keeper on a Burgundy canal.
Here is another secret of délices of the French: The canals are not only beautiful, but each lock-keeper (éclusier) has his own side-business of a terroir. That's how we got awesome Sancerre, in the shadow of the selfsame village, at weepable prices. And walnuts somewhere else, and … whatever they propose.
We once wanted to make an omelette for lunch, and asked the éclusier to sell us half a dozen eggs. He: "Let me go see the hen," and left.
And came back shortly, apologizing: "there are only 5."
And they were still warm !
That day I realized that in this world there are eggs and there are eggs. If what we tasted was called egg, we should call the other stuff a different name.
Conclusion: I recommend that all those in Paris, locals or visitors, get beillevaire eggs. I got mine at Beillevaire up the street on rue des Martyrs. There's another one in the Marais, I believe.

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  1. 77, rue St. Antoine. Right around the corner (towards Bastille) from the rue St. Paul. I have been buying the wonderful butter with salt crystals there for years. No one ever told me about their eggs. Instead, I've just been getting bio/plein air eggs next door at the Monoprix. When I go out later to the Pressing nearby to try to get my shirt back without a ticket, I'll get some eggs, too.

    4 Replies
    1. re: RandyB

      I don't know about the rue St Antoine shop, but on very cold days in the winter, the rue des Martyrs Beillevaire sets up a tartiflette outside the shop. It's the next best thing to getting it from the belly of the beast in a ferme-auberge in the Alps above Annecy.

      1. re: Parigi

        I was already drooling over the eggs, but that mention of tartiflette has me wanting to book airfare right now! Perfect cold-weather dish.

        I had one of the best eggs of my life in a crepe at a small resto in Montmartre (now closed) a few years ago. Beautiful bright orange, runny yolk. So flavorful.

        I'm also thinking cracked over a pizza towards the end of cooking...

        Thanks, Parigi - will keep Beillevaire in mind for our next visit.

        1. re: Parigi

          mmmmmm Tartiflette! I think I'll make one this weekend.

          1. re: Parigi

            Never having gone to Annecy, the only tartiflette I've ever had was from one of the Xmas chalets on the Champs Elysées. Two forkfuls were about all I could stand because the cheese (some cheap version of reblochon?) was so overwhelmingly thick.

        2. There is also a shop on rue de Belleville... but I have to say the sellers were so pushy on my last visit, that I don't plan on going back (at least not to that particular shop)...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Rio Yeti

            Come to rue des Martyrs. They are nice, informative and not pushy.

          2. Sounds like the wonderful eggs we had last month everywhere in Piemonte. They were especially good with truffles.

            1. Wow! Thank you for this, P.

              Yes, last winter Beillevaire St. Antoine had a tarteflette stand in front of the shop.

              But getting down to what's important, does anyone know if one can bring fresh eggs into the US?

              8 Replies
              1. re: mangeur

                Without checking, I think it safe to say no, no, no to fresh eggs.

                You'd be better off looking for a farmers market in the US where there are farmers who raise chickens well and sell them only locally. They won't all be wonderful, but some may be.

                1. re: RandyB

                  I'm sure you're right. I have never found extraordinary eggs at our farmers markets, but some must exist.

                  Somehow I delight in imagining the expression on the inspector's face when confronted with a dozen eggs tripple wrapped in bubble pack. Better yet, putting words in his mouth!

                  1. re: mangeur

                    I have friends who do wonderful eggs, so orange-yellow you think they're fake.

                    What I find unpredictable is whether the yolk will break when cracking the eggs open, and how tough the membrane will make it to peel hard boiled eggs. I've tried all sorts of voodoo but I think it is the chicken who decides but never tells.

                    1. re: RandyB

                      Indeed I have found the shells of the Beillevaire eggs quite fragile. Either I have mastered the peeling or my voodoo is good enough.
                      Plus - O Kingdom Come - I found Orgasmic Portuguese Egg Tart nearby, quite near my Beillevaire actually, at the boulangerie Pétrin on rue Henri Monnier. Comparable to the OPET at Comme à Lisbonne in the Marais. But that's for another thread. I'm not going to hijack my own thread, lol.

                      1. re: RandyB

                        That is only a matter of how old the eggs are.

                        You shouldn't make hard-boiled eggs from very fresh eggs. The membrane adheres to the white and you make a mess of the egg when you peel it. As eggs get older, it becomes easier to peel.

                        Likewise, the firmness of the raw white around the yolk is also a matter of age. The fresher the egg, the firmer the white, so the yolks don't break when you crack the egg open. As the egg ages, the white becomes more liquid (and is better for whipping, besides).

                        So use fresh eggs when you want to soft-boil or fry them, use not-so-fresh eggs when you want to hard-boil them or beat the whites.

                        1. re: Ptipois

                          I know the books say that. Would that it were so simple. Sorry, Ptitpois, it is not a reliable difference. I've had eggs laid the morning that their yokes broke in the afternoon, and old ones that took a hammer to break. (Ok, the second part is a slight exaggeration.)

                          1. re: RandyB

                            Well, it always worked for me, and very reliably so. Perhaps my eggs are simpler than yours!

                          2. re: Ptipois

                            Actually about beating the whites, they will foam up more rapidly with old eggs, but the foam will be less stable, so it depends on the final use.
                            For something like macarons, I think that a "less stable" foam is desirable to help create the particular shape and glossy tops, but for something like a Tiramisu, where the eggs are not cooked and need to keep their best possible structure, firm and fresh eggs are more desirable.

                  2. My favorite egg purveyor is at the Tuesday and Sunday Bastille market. The sellers have poultry, eggs (still replete with hay, presented in a straw basket) and various vegetables grown on the farm. They are located a few stalls down from Jacky Lorenzo's. Never have I had tighter whites!