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  #1  
Old 10-28-2003, 09:05 AM
CnoteChris CnoteChris is offline
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“The French don’t refrigerate their eggs”. Really?

I heard this on the “Good Eats” television program broadcast last night. The host, Alton Brown, was talking about the perfect omelet and all the steps it took in bringing it about.

As he was going through them all, he stopped on one particularly interesting instruction, a ‘pre-warm your eggs so they won’t take as long to cook’ line, and while looking at the camera with a bit of a smirk, said, “Incidentally, if you were in France, you wouldn’t need this step, as the French don’t refrigerate their eggs”.

Huh? Did I hear that correctly?

WhatchutalkingaboutAlton?

Are the French really that… Do the French really ignore the common American practice of refrigerating their eggs?

Why? Isn’t that unhealthy?

And finally, what is it with the French, and Europe in particular, with refrigeration? It’s not like it’s a new technology or anything.
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  #2  
Old 10-28-2003, 09:31 AM
Zorro Zorro is offline
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This is correct CnoteChris, we don't refrigerate our eggs. This is because eggs, like beef or game, benefit from being left for a week or more at ambient room temperature. It allows some of the molecules to start breaking down, and it enhances their flavour. How long eggs are left to mature is down to personal preferences. Most people in France like them matured for about a week, but some swear that they reach their peak of flavour after around 20 days. the process is known as faisandage. Personally, I find that eggs left out this long have a somewhat overwhelmning taste. Some of the flavours resulting from estherification inside the yolk can give the egg a strong aftertaste rather akin to sauerkraut, which some would argue is an acquired taste.

Next time you buy some eggs, try leaving them on a shelf in your kitchen for 6 to 8 days before eating them. Just soft boil one so as not to corrupt the egg's own inherent flavour with any other tastes, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

As for the more general question about refrigeration, you have to bear in mind that electricity distribution is not as widespread in most of Europe as it is in the US. In France for instance, only 42% of households are hooked up to the national grid, according the a 2001 report by Electricité de France, the state-owned power provider.

I hope this helps.
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  #3  
Old 10-28-2003, 10:19 AM
nicky nicky is offline
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We dont refrigerate eggs in England either. Well I dont.

The American fashion for refrigerating eggs is because salmonella wont reproduce at fridge temperatures. Maybe French eggs are better quality? Or the better taste of unrefrigerated eggs is worth the risk to the gourmet?


Its certainly not because the French dont have fridges.
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  #4  
Old 10-28-2003, 10:29 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Even the original Joy of Cooking -- about as American a cookbook as you can get -- told its readers to keep their eggs at room temperature (they usually referred to it as 70-degree eggs, to indicate the temperature in Fahrenheit they should be kept).

As to unhealthy -- your eggs probably sat at room temperature a few days between the poultry farm and the grocery (you think they make daily pickups?). Salmonella is an issue, but if you're using eggs in a recipe, it'll probably be hot enough to kill any bacteria.
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  #5  
Old 10-28-2003, 10:29 AM
Ponster Ponster is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zorro
In France for instance, only 42% of households are hooked up to the national grid, according the a 2001 report by Electricité de France, the state-owned power provider.
I hope this helps.

I would love to see a cite for that stat !
5 years here and I have yet to find a house that isn't powered by the national grid.



CnoteChris I'm Irish living in Paris and in my family in Ireland we don't stick them in the fridge either. I can't really say why but it's always been the way we've done it at home. In France I have rarely seen anyone store their eggs in a fridge. I know that if you bake you should take them out for 10-15 minutes before you use them but wouldn't explain for me why you would *always* leave them out.
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  #6  
Old 10-28-2003, 10:44 AM
everton everton is offline
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This egg producer's site claims that eggs ought to be kept refrigerated, but I never do and don't know anyone else who does either.

The best quality British eggs have a best before date printed on the shell.
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  #7  
Old 10-28-2003, 11:24 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Good Eats is one of my favorite programs. In any case, I thought we Americans generally didn't refrigerate eggs because we buy so many of them at a time. I think it was on Good Eats in fact that I was told a room-temperature stored egg ages a week for every day a chilled-egg would last.

In any case, salmonella isn't present in a whole lot of eggs. I think you're statistically equal to winning the lottery (sorry, no real cite). And then it's only really a problem if you have a weakened immune system. Look at all the runners who drink raw eggs, or all the fat people who eat a lot of key lime pie (which I love, by the way).

That said, I keep my eggs in the fridge. Down in Mexico, eggs are not sold in the refrigerated section at the grocery stores (e.g. Super Wal-Mart) or at the markets. Well, the parts of Mexico I know, anyway -- I'd hope they refrigerate them in the desert north during the summer. Hasn't killed me yet, but you can't change my 31 years of being conditioned to refrigerate them.
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  #8  
Old 10-28-2003, 11:38 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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Don't forget that people ate eggs for millennia before refrigeration. If you live close to farms and use eggs daily, they will always be fresh when you eat them.

Refrigeration is more of a need when you buy a dozen eggs and have them for a week or two before they are used up.
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  #9  
Old 10-28-2003, 11:48 AM
toadspittle toadspittle is offline
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I will pick up the gauntlet and post in the defense of refrigeration:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/disea.../salment_g.htm

Quote:
How eggs become contaminated

... Most types of Salmonella live in the intestinal tracts of animals and birds and are transmitted to humans by contaminated foods of animal origin. Stringent procedures for cleaning and inspecting eggs were implemented in the 1970s and have made salmonellosis caused by external fecal contamination of egg shells extremely rare. However, unlike eggborne salmonellosis of past decades, the current epidemic is due to intact and disinfected grade A eggs. The reason for this is that Salmonella enteritidis silently infects the ovaries of healthy appearing hens and contaminates the eggs before the shells are formed.

... Although most infected hens have been found in the northeastern United States, the infection also occurs in hens in other areas of the country. In the Northeast, approximately one in 10,000 eggs may be internally contaminated.

...
What is the risk?

In affected parts of the United States, we estimate that one in 50 average consumers could be exposed to a contaminated egg each year. If that egg is thoroughly cooked, the Salmonella organisms will be destroyed and will not make the person sick. Many dishes made in restaurants or commercial or institutional kitchens, however, are made from pooled eggs. If 500 eggs are pooled, one batch in 20 will be contaminated and everyone who eats eggs from that batch is at risk. A healthy person's risk for infection by Salmonella enteritidis is low, even in the northeastern United States, if individually prepared eggs are properly cooked, or foods are made from pasteurized eggs.


What you can do to reduce risk

Eggs, like meat, poultry, milk, and other foods, are safe when handled properly. Shell eggs are safest when stored in the refrigerator, individually and thoroughly cooked, and promptly consumed. The larger the number of Salmonella present in the egg, the more likely it is to cause illness. Keeping eggs adequately refrigerated prevents any Salmonella present in the eggs from growing to higher numbers, so eggs should be held refrigerated until they are needed. Cooking reduces the number of bacteria present in an egg; however, an egg with a runny yolk still poses a greater risk than a completely cooked egg. Undercooked egg whites and yolks have been associated with outbreaks of Salmonella enteritidis infections. Both should be consumed promptly and not be held in the temperature range of 40 to 140 for more than 2 hours.
So the upshot:
(a) More chickens have salmonella in the Northeastern US than in most other places, hence our panic
(b) Around here, if you aren't careful, you have a 1 in 50 shot of eating a contaminated egg each year
(c) That risk rises dramatically in situations where food is prepared in bulk (i.e., a restaurant/cafeteria scrambling 500 eggs a day in one giant batch, making their mayo, etc.)
(d) More salmonella bacteria = more risk of sickness, so anything you can do to keep their numbers down before ingesting them is good (i.e., a contaminated egg kept cold might only have a few thousand bacteria, which your body/cooking might be able to kill; if those thousand bacteria are allowed to run hog-wild in a room-temperature egg for a week, you're going to swallow a lot more of them, and may not kill them all off before some can make you sick)
(e) Thorough cooking could remedy some/all of the bacterial proliferation induced by room-temp. storage, but no one (esp. the type of picky chef who insists on storing eggs at room temp. for days) seems to like doing this, as it means you can never have anything but hard-cooked fried eggs, hard-boiled eggs, and very dry scrambled eggs/omelets.
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  #10  
Old 10-28-2003, 11:51 AM
CnoteChris CnoteChris is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Exapno Mapcase
Refrigeration is more of a need when you buy a dozen eggs and have them for a week or two before they are used up.
So how do the French buy eggs then? A couple at a time?

Or are they not into cartons, either?

Quote:
Originally posted by Zorro
It allows some of the molecules to start breaking down, and it enhances their flavour.
Interesting. Thanks Zorro.

Still, it just seems wrong to me to 'age' eggs. I was always taught that eggs were bacteria farms, just waiting to take advantage of my sloppiness.
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  #11  
Old 10-28-2003, 12:02 PM
toadspittle toadspittle is offline
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Sigh. Sorry for the boldface nightmare. What I meant to say was:

Quote:
How eggs become contaminated

... Most types of Salmonella live in the intestinal tracts of animals and birds and are transmitted to humans by contaminated foods of animal origin. Stringent procedures for cleaning and inspecting eggs were implemented in the 1970s and have made salmonellosis caused by external fecal contamination of egg shells extremely rare. However, unlike eggborne salmonellosis of past decades, the current epidemic is due to intact and disinfected grade A eggs. The reason for this is that Salmonella enteritidis silently infects the ovaries of healthy appearing hens and contaminates the eggs before the shells are formed.

... Although most infected hens have been found in the northeastern United States, the infection also occurs in hens in other areas of the country. In the Northeast, approximately one in 10,000 eggs may be internally contaminated.

...
What is the risk?

In affected parts of the United States, we estimate that one in 50 average consumers could be exposed to a contaminated egg each year. If that egg is thoroughly cooked, the Salmonella organisms will be destroyed and will not make the person sick. Many dishes made in restaurants or commercial or institutional kitchens, however, are made from pooled eggs. If 500 eggs are pooled, one batch in 20 will be contaminated and everyone who eats eggs from that batch is at risk. A healthy person's risk for infection by Salmonella enteritidis is low, even in the northeastern United States, if individually prepared eggs are properly cooked, or foods are made from pasteurized eggs.


What you can do to reduce risk

Eggs, like meat, poultry, milk, and other foods, are safe when handled properly. Shell eggs are safest when stored in the refrigerator, individually and thoroughly cooked, and promptly consumed. The larger the number of Salmonella present in the egg, the more likely it is to cause illness. Keeping eggs adequately refrigerated prevents any Salmonella present in the eggs from growing to higher numbers, so eggs should be held refrigerated until they are needed. Cooking reduces the number of bacteria present in an egg; however, an egg with a runny yolk still poses a greater risk than a completely cooked egg. Undercooked egg whites and yolks have been associated with outbreaks of Salmonella enteritidis infections. Both should be consumed promptly and not be held in the temperature range of 40 to 140 for more than 2 hours.
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  #12  
Old 10-28-2003, 12:12 PM
Zorro Zorro is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CnoteChris
So how do the French buy eggs then? A couple at a time?

Or are they not into cartons, either?

Interesting. Thanks Zorro.

Still, it just seems wrong to me to 'age' eggs. I was always taught that eggs were bacteria farms, just waiting to take advantage of my sloppiness.
In the US eggs are sold in cartons of multiples of half a dozen. But as you know, France has used the decimal system since the Revolution, and it is illegal to sell eggs in other quantities than multiples of ten. So they come in 10s, 20s, 50s and 100s. I have never seen them in 30s or 40s, although there's no theoretical reason why you couldn't.

As for packaging, they come either in the sort of flimsy square cardboard boxes that you buy cakes in, packed in straw, or in thin wooden baskets, also packed in straw. Also bear in mind that about a third of French households are self-sufficient in eggs and poultry as keeping chickens is a widespread practice. We used to have 9 layers and a cockerel, but they were all killed one night when a lynx broke into their coop.
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  #13  
Old 10-28-2003, 12:25 PM
CnoteChris CnoteChris is offline
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You're not just pulling my leg here, are you Zorro?

A third of the population keeps chickens?
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  #14  
Old 10-28-2003, 12:37 PM
JRR JRR is offline
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Europe has a long history of leaving perfectly good food out in the dirt to "Age" it.

Especially Norway.

Quote:
Gravlaks ('grave salmon') is just what it sounds like: salmon stored in the dirt for months.

Lutefisk ('lye fish') is also, I regret to say, exactly what it sounds like: fish stored in lethal lye until its consistency resembles that of jellyfish. It has been said that the first man to eat lutefisk was the bravest guy that ever walked the earth. I'm saying he walked the earth way beyond 'brave' and far into 'stupid' territory.

Myrmelk ('mire milk') is milk stored in the middle of a damned swamp for, I'm serious, several years. You have to be careful when you dig it up, or it will explode in your face. I'm happy to report that this is a dying tradition.
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  #15  
Old 10-28-2003, 12:38 PM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Here in Ireland, the eggs are not refrigerated in the supermarkets either. Personally, I keep them in the fridge because there are only two of us in the house and we don't eat a lot of eggs, but most people don't.
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  #16  
Old 10-28-2003, 12:43 PM
Zorro Zorro is offline
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About a third yes, according to the department of the Ministry of Agriculture that deals with domestic poultry, the Office National de l'Elevage Avicole de Subsistance. Just have a look here for more information. Click on the little British flag in the top right hand corner for the English language version.

http://www.agriculture.gouv.fr/oneas...ens/cotcot.htm
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  #17  
Old 10-28-2003, 01:18 PM
Asteroide Asteroide is offline
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Interesting - I've been living here in France for a while, and I never paid any attention to this. I just go to the market, buy a carton of non-refrigerated eggs, bring them home and stick them in the refrigerator...

Pretty pointless, I guess.

My mother taught me to enjoy large portions of tasteless, but very hygienic food. People round here sometimes think I'm a delicate finicky barbarian, but we generally agree to disagree. Meats cheeses etc tend to be considerably "stronger", people serving food often handle it directly (no gloves), fish and meat may be served raw (tartare), eggs barely cooked etc.

Still, it's not like there's a huge food poisoning problem, so I'm not really sure which way's better. It may ultimately be more a matter of culture and mindset.

Hey, if you really want to challenge your immune system, try chawarma - middle eastern, spitted mystery meat that often has a lot of flies buzzing around it !

Zorro, is it true the UK's refusing to come on board for the European 10 day week ?
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  #18  
Old 10-28-2003, 01:25 PM
fortytwo fortytwo is offline
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mmmm 1000 year old eggs, lovely jubbly. Unfridgerated eggs haven't done me any harm.

V
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  #19  
Old 10-28-2003, 01:46 PM
everton everton is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Asteroide
Zorro, is it true the UK's refusing to come on board for the European 10 day week ?
Five-day weekend? Sign me up.
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  #20  
Old 10-28-2003, 01:49 PM
TheLoadedDog TheLoadedDog is offline
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A lot of visiting Americans are surprised that Australian supermarkets have their eggs just sitting out on a shelf (sometimes they are refrigerated in the larger places). We tend to refrigerate our eggs in our homes though.
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  #21  
Old 10-28-2003, 02:15 PM
Captain Lance Murdoch Captain Lance Murdoch is offline
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On a related note, I heard the folks on The Splendid Table gushing over French butter and cheese which they say is often unpasteurized. My first thought was "ack," but I then again I avoid butter altogether because it's so unhealthy when it IS pasteurized.

I don't know if I buy that 1/3 of the French raising chickens and 42% being off the electrical grid. What are all those Nuclear power plants for, decoration?
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  #22  
Old 10-28-2003, 02:21 PM
Zorro Zorro is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Asteroide

Zorro, is it true the UK's refusing to come on board for the European 10 day week ?
Don't be ridiculous! There is no such thing as the European 10 day week, stop misleading our American friends with this sort of nonsense please.

N'importe quoi.
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  #23  
Old 10-28-2003, 02:37 PM
Zorro Zorro is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Captain Lance Murdoch
What are all those Nuclear power plants for, decoration?
I don't know if you followed the news about the heatwave that hit France this summer but the nuclear power plants revealed their vulnerability when faced with the unusual climatic conditions. Most had to be turned down to minimum output and some were simply shut down. The truth is that most of them are nearing the end of their working lives and may as well just be for decoration. Many French households generate their own electricity, often through with what can essentially be called chicken sh*t incinerators.

But having banked on nuclear power (as well as domestic energy generation based on the by-products of low-intensity subsistence agriculture) for the past 40 years, we're now moving onto the next stage and are engaged in technological race reminiscent of the Cold War with the US to build what you Americans often refer to as a Giant Fricking Laserbeam, and someone else can look that up on the Google News search because all I can find is an article in the Financial Times and I'm not registered with them. Anyway, a by-product of this thing (it's primarily a nuclear weapons simulator) will be work on controlled nuclear fusion, so we'll see how that turns out.

I doubt that it will have any impact on people keeping chickens though. The whole chicken-egg-poo-electricity cycle strikes me as quite an elegant solution.
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  #24  
Old 10-28-2003, 02:47 PM
mmmiiikkkeee mmmiiikkkeee is offline
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So is the bottom line that the French and other europiens are more accustomed to a slightly "rotten" taste in their meat/egg products? Did it stem from them actually liking the taste in the first place and doing it on purpose or was it something they got used to by not having a choice for hundreds of years?
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  #25  
Old 10-28-2003, 02:49 PM
Lathe of Heaven Lathe of Heaven is offline
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I hate to belabo(u)r a joke, but friend Zorro is pulling our lower limbs. The latter part of the URL he cites in support of the 30% chicken ownership thing translates as "come_my_little_chicken_come_here/cluckcluck.html"

France is largely urban. They DO have power.
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  #26  
Old 10-28-2003, 03:18 PM
CnoteChris CnoteChris is offline
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You had me believing you right up until the chicken shit furnaces part, Zorro. Don't know if you should be commended or beaten.

Whatever the case, you French have some issues.


And Nightsky, all I ever got out of that link was a 404. It didn't occur to me to also examine the address line. Even then, though, it's still in French so what would I have known.

Thanks for the translation.

Zorro. You...
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  #27  
Old 10-28-2003, 03:21 PM
CnoteChris CnoteChris is offline
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You had me believing you right up until the chicken shit furnaces part, Zorro. Don't know if you should be commended or beaten.

Whatever the case, you Europeans have some issues.


And Nightsky, all I ever got out of that link was a 404. It didn't occur to me to also examine the address line. Even then, though, it's still in French so what would I have known.

Thanks for the translation.

Zorro. You...
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  #28  
Old 10-28-2003, 03:44 PM
Kalimero Kalimero is offline
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I've refrigerates my eggs until now, because I didn't know cold temperature would affect their taste.
But, if the French tell me to keep them warm, I'll do it. You can't beat the French when it comes to food.
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  #29  
Old 10-28-2003, 04:38 PM
The Long Road The Long Road is offline
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Re: “The French don’t refrigerate their eggs”. Really?

Quote:
Originally posted by CnoteChris
and while looking at the camera with a bit of a smirk, said, “Incidentally, if you were in France, you wouldn’t need this step, as the French don’t refrigerate their eggs”.

The correct quote is "You won't find this step in French cook books because the French don't refrigerate their eggs."

As an aside, "How to boil water" had a much better show on making French Omlettes. The show features a French chef and he advised keeping eggs in the back of the refrigerator since when they are on the door they are subject to large tempurature changes when the door is opened. He also mentioned keeping them in a closed plastic container since they tend to absorb the odors in the fridge which change the taste.
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  #30  
Old 10-28-2003, 04:45 PM
Padeye Padeye is offline
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I'm a safety fascist about things like thawing meat in the sink but I;ve always kept my eggs at room temperature when it's reasonably cool in the house. The biggest difference I've seen in keeping them this way is that hard boiled eggs are much easier to peel.
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  #31  
Old 10-28-2003, 04:58 PM
Jake4 Jake4 is offline
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Does this mean that French refrigerators don't have nice indented areas on the door shelf?
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  #32  
Old 10-28-2003, 04:58 PM
Trygve Trygve is offline
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In Georgia (the country, not the US state) eggs are not refrigerated. They don't even come in cartons.

They are often in the shop under a glass deli counter and one takes them home in a flimsy plastic bag.. like one you'd put lettuce into in a US supermarket. (very carefully).
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  #33  
Old 10-28-2003, 05:32 PM
Zazie Zazie is offline
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Zorro, you are too weird!

French Doper checking in.
In my family, and any family I've known, first off we have electricity! and second we refrigerate our eggs... I was told to take them out of the fridge for them to get to room temperature to cook them (baking mostly), but I didn't know about the "long term" storage part.
My mom would only cook the eggs hard boiled if they were more than a week old.

I give you that there are other things we don't refrigerate... My American husband was scared because I wouldn't put the mustard and jam in the fridge, and the cheese of course!

Jake4, we do have the indentations in the fridge door
and our eggs come usually in packs of 6, but you can easily find 12 as well.
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  #34  
Old 10-28-2003, 05:48 PM
FilmGeek FilmGeek is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by mmmiiikkkeee
So is the bottom line that the French and other europiens are more accustomed to a slightly "rotten" taste in their meat/egg products? Did it stem from them actually liking the taste in the first place and doing it on purpose or was it something they got used to by not having a choice for hundreds of years?
Slight hijack...

I heard on one TV show or another that Hershey chocolate tastes the way it does because of the slightly turned milk they had to use early on due to their distance from dairy farms.
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  #35  
Old 10-28-2003, 06:08 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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OK...


1)I keep my eggs in the fridge and so does everybody I know. Maybe there are people not refrigerating their eggs, but I still didn't notice such a thing anywhere. However, in little groceries, eggs sold aren't always refrigerated.

2)Eggs aren't sold by ten, but by six or by the dozen. And overwhelmingly in cartoons, except in shops selling only cheese (I don't know the english word for them) which traditionnally also sell butter (not packed) , cream and eggs (not in cartoons).

3)The statement about 42% of the population not being being connected to the power grid is utterly ludicrous. The only people I knew who didn't have electricity had not paid their bills.

4) The 1/3 of french people raising poultry statement is equally ludicrous.
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  #36  
Old 10-28-2003, 06:49 PM
Ximenean Ximenean is offline
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Hmmm, maybe the French don't get irony either
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  #37  
Old 10-28-2003, 07:15 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Usram
Hmmm, maybe the French don't get irony either



Maybe. Especially when they have been sent packing by a woman they were attracted to a couple hours before. But this would be more relevant in the MPSIMS board.
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  #38  
Old 10-28-2003, 07:42 PM
Speaker for the Dead Speaker for the Dead is offline
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clairobscur, I'm pretty sure that we just stole the word fromagerie to describe them. Otherwise we just call them cheese shops. Actually, funny story -- my friends and I had a grand old time in France with all of the -erie stores. The one that killed all of us was the couscouserie.
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  #39  
Old 10-28-2003, 07:50 PM
Speaker for the Dead Speaker for the Dead is offline
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clairobscur, I'm pretty sure that we just stole the word fromagerie to describe them. Otherwise we just call them cheese shops. Actually, funny story -- my friends and I had a grand old time in France with all of the -erie stores. The one that killed all of us was the couscouserie.
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  #40  
Old 10-28-2003, 07:54 PM
CnoteChris CnoteChris is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Usram
Hmmm, maybe the French don't get irony either
OK. I'm stumped.

Where's the irony?
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  #41  
Old 10-28-2003, 07:59 PM
CBEscapee CBEscapee is offline
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In Mexico they aren't refrigerated and are sold by weight.
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  #42  
Old 10-28-2003, 08:00 PM
Speaker for the Dead Speaker for the Dead is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CnoteChris
OK. I'm stumped.

Where's the irony?
Maybe it's the fact that the French are infamous as being "chickens"?
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  #43  
Old 10-28-2003, 08:06 PM
Daikona Daikona is offline
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My family only refridgerates eggs when we have enough that they're going to be around more than a couple of weeks. Granted, we raise chickens, and they've all been tested negative for salmonella (my father takes some of them to shows, anda negativetest is an entry requirement), so the risk of that is zero. I've never noticed any off taste in them, though I suppose that it could just be I'm so used to it that store bought refridgerated eggs are what tastes odd.
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  #44  
Old 10-28-2003, 09:11 PM
Carnac the Magnificent! Carnac the Magnificent! is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Quote:
Originally posted by Exapno Mapcase
Don't forget that people ate eggs for millennia before refrigeration. If you live close to farms and use eggs daily, they will always be fresh when you eat them.

Refrigeration is more of a need when you buy a dozen eggs and have them for a week or two before they are used up.
Given the alarming mortality rates among people over the "millennia"--mortality from a host of bacterial and viral infections--I wouldn't put too much stock in tradition. Some forms of salmonella originate inside the hen.
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  #45  
Old 10-28-2003, 09:23 PM
The Long Road The Long Road is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
During the same "How to Boil Water" show I mentioned, the chef claimed that you can tell if eggs are bad by placing them in a sink filled with room temperature tap water. If an egg floats, it is bad and should be thrown out. Has anyone tried this method?
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  #46  
Old 10-28-2003, 10:28 PM
FilmGeek FilmGeek is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Quote:
Originally posted by The Long Road
During the same "How to Boil Water" show I mentioned, the chef claimed that you can tell if eggs are bad by placing them in a sink filled with room temperature tap water. If an egg floats, it is bad and should be thrown out. Has anyone tried this method?
I have tried it.

It works.

The gas in a rotten (or rotting) egg makes them float.

Of course, I checked the one that floated. That was not cool.
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  #47  
Old 10-29-2003, 02:17 AM
flodnak flodnak is offline
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: outside Oslo, Norway
Posts: 4,762
Quote:
Originally posted by JRR
Europe has a long history of leaving perfectly good food out in the dirt to "Age" it.

Especially Norway.
Don't really know who this guy is, but if he's Norwegian, he's clearly not a cook.

Gravlaks is salmon which has been salted and rubbed with spices, then left in a cool place to, ahem, "slightly ferment". Nothing to do with burying it, although grave does mean "bury" in Norwegian. Anyway, this can be done with many types of fish; salmon is just the most popular.

Lutefisk starts out as dried fish, usually cod. This is simply hung to dry in the open air, even today (covered with nets to keep the birds away). This fish will keep for a long time but is obviously not very easy to eat in that shape, so it is soaked in water and/or cooked for a long time. Think bacalao. Anyway, lutefisk is made by soaking the dried fish in a lye-and-water solution until it's soft, then in plain water until the lye is out and the fish is safe to eat again. The process requires days of soaking and many changes of water, but apparently is still faster than just soaking in plain water. It does, however, give the fish a gelatin-like texture and a strong smell. You either love it or you hate it; lord help me, I married into a family that loves it.

Never heard of this myrmelk and it's not in the dictionary nor my cookbook on traditional Norwegian cooking. Wonder if it's a corruption of merrmelk, which would be simply mare's milk, i.e. from a horse. Strong-tasting, I've been told, but not deadly.

Many Norwegians believe that Icelanders bury shark meat underground for three to six months to age it. I've been told by an Icelander that this is nonsense; the meat is hung to age it, using the same process meat packing plants still use for beef and so on.

And just to be on-topic, Norwegians refrigerate their eggs, but the best-before date stamped on the packages now has to show when the eggs would be safe to eat if left unrefrigerated. Some sort of European regulation.
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  #48  
Old 10-29-2003, 02:52 AM
Ponster Ponster is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Just had a chat with friends here at work and some others I know in cyberland and out of the 26 I talked to, only 2 either kept or have families that keep their eggs in the fridge. I know it's not exactly a Gallup poll but best I can do!

They were from Englian, Ireland, France, Spain, Holland, Denmark and Italy.


Maybe we could turn the questions around to...


“The Americans refrigerate their eggs”. Really?
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  #49  
Old 10-29-2003, 02:54 AM
trabi trabi is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Here (Hungary) eggs are unrefrigerated in the shops (or fresh from the chicken if you buy at a market), so I don't know whether it's worth bothering sticking them in the fridge after they've been sitting on a shelf at room temperature for who knows how many days anyway.

The only reason I refrigerate my eggs is because my fridge happens to have a handy egg-tray built in, which frees up cupboard space and prevents them from getting broken.
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  #50  
Old 10-29-2003, 03:14 AM
Zorro Zorro is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Quote:
Originally posted by CnoteChris
You had me believing you right up until the chicken shit furnaces part, Zorro. Don't know if you should be commended or beaten.

Whatever the case, you Europeans have some issues.
CnoteChris, I wouldn't discount the concept of chicken shit burning power stations out of hand (real link follows):
http://www.fibrowatt.com/UK-Thetford/

According to a civil engineer friend of mine who was dragged out there to visit the place (he was working on a straw burning facility of similar design) and I am reliably informed that it is one of the most vomit-inducing horrible experiences ever. You see, they had a problem with the chicken shit hoppers. They were designed on the assumption that chicken shit was homogeneous in its density. Of course, it is no such thing. I decants into its solid and liquid parts, and the solids settle into a dense slurry at the bottom. As a result, the Archimedes' screws that had to take the fowl poo from the hoppers to the furnaces were jammed. In addition, as the liquid part evaporated, the hoppers contained a far greater weight of crap that they were designed for and started to buckle, and... Look, I can't go on with this story, it's making me feel ill.

Zazie, je ne sais pas non plus pourquoi les gens mettent la moutarde et la confiture au frigo.
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