In France, farm eggs at the market are stamped with two dates: “Fresh until,” and “Extra-fresh until…” You can actually request extra-fresh eggs from your fromager/egg-monger! Eggs are extra-fresh until they are about 7 days old, and during this time are best for coddling, poaching, mayonnaise, aioli, mousse, or a very special cake.
If you have backyard hens, you know there is nothing like an egg used within a day or two, (even if part of it is psychological delight!). Now we can also rejoice in the certain je ne sais quois of our hip kitchen Frenchness.
For more French culinary arcana to inspire our modern kitchens, see two of my favorites: Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table, and the lovely classic memoir, When French Women Cook, by Madelein Kamman.
What are you making with your freshest eggs this spring?
Alas, no chickens, hence no freshest eggs for me unless the kindness of friends with fowls intervenes.
But your post reminded me of going to England and seeing in a village a basket of eggs on a table by the roadside with the price posted and a money jar beside it (much like the dahlia booth on Bainbridge and similar elsewhere).
I wondered how the eggs stayed fresh like that and later learned what you and many others probably knew long ago about commercial washing of eggs removing their protective coating. Which I guess we of no fresh/freshest eggs should be glad of considering the conditions those eggs usually come from.
Happy spring slugs to the chooks 🙂