Man, my arms are like jelly right now. Jillian Michaels is kicking my rear into gear!
Today’s “Living in New Zealand” post is about eggs. More specifically, the way that eggs are stored in New Zealand.
When I go to the grocery, this is where I find my eggs:
There they are! Right in between some party supplies and packets of dried noodles. Another store we shop at has them right next to the flour and baking goods (which makes more sense to me).
Why on earth aren’t eggs refrigerated in New Zealand?
Answer: because they don’t need to be.
According to the FoodSmart.govt.nz website, eggs in New Zealand are not exposed to the pathogens that are of concern in other countries. The NZ Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry does recommend storing them in the refrigerator as a strictly precautionary measure, but most people that I know (well enough to let me see where they store their eggs) don’t store their eggs in the fridge. We do, but that’s because we’re American and it’s ingrained in our psyche. I actually put my latest dozen in the pantry (I thought that I would try it out in advance of this post) but my thoughtful husband was
looking out for me raiding the pantry after I went to bed and thought I’d made a mistake. So, he put them in the fridge and I didn’t want to have them sitting out and returning to room temperature just for the blog. I’ve been told that having room temperature eggs is actually a benefit for things like cooking and baking, as the yolks tend to mix a bit better.
And speaking of yolks, the egg yolks in New Zealand are much more yellow than in the US. They’re almost orange. Actually, they are orange now that I think about it.
#1 Kiwis tend to prefer orange-y yolks. I’m not pulling this out of thin air. I’ve asked several people about egg yolks (and the colour of cheese here, but that’s another issue) and I’ve been told that the darker yellow/orange the yolk, the more appealing and healthy it looks. Pale yolks look like they came from sickly chickens. Hearty, orange yolks look like they came from strapping, healthy chickens!
#2 Egg farmers in New Zealand, either as a result of this preference or perhaps as the cause, add carotenoids to chicken feed (I could insert a lame joke about not knowing which came first, the chicken/preference or the egg/feed additives, but I won’t!). Some of the carotenoids are organic, some are synthetic. You’d need to check with your egg producer to find out what they use. If you’re buying strictly organic, free-range eggs, then it’s probably pretty certain that they use natural carotenoids (such as beets, carrots, etc.). If you’re using commercially produced eggs, then they’re likely all synthetic (such as food-safe colours) or a blend of synthetic and organic.
So, when you’re grocery shopping in New Zealand, don’t be surprised by the eggs sitting next to the party supplies. It’s all under control 🙂