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Also known as
Anda, Indu, Baida.
An egg is a round or oval body laid by the female of any number of different species, consisting of an ovum surrounded by layers of membranes and an outer casing, which acts to nourish and protect a developing embryo and its nutrient reserves. Most edible eggs, including bird eggs and turtle eggs, consist of a protective, oval eggshell, the albumen (egg white), the vitellus (egg yolk), and various thin membranes. Every part is edible, although the eggshell is generally discarded.
Eggs are considered a good source of protein and choline. Roe and caviar are edible eggs produced by fish. Birds eggs are a common food and one of the most versatile ingredients used in cooking. They are important in many branches of the modern food industry. The most commonly used bird eggs are those from the chicken. Duck and goose eggs, and smaller eggs such as quail eggs are occasionally used as a gourmet ingredient, as are the largest bird eggs, from ostriches. Gull eggs are considered a delicacy in England.
Egg white is the common name for the clear liquid (also called the albumen or the glair/glaire) contained within an egg.
Egg white consists primarily of about 90% water into which is dissolved 10% proteins (including albumins, mucoproteins, and globulins). Unlike the yolk, which is high in lipids (fats), egg white contains almost no fat, and carbohydrate content is less than 1%. Egg whites contain 80% of the protein in the egg. Egg white has many uses in food (e.g. mousse) and also many other uses. Egg white is a fining agent that can be used in the clarification and stabilization of wine.
Egg yolk is the yellow part of an egg which is suspended in the egg white (known alternatively as albumen or glair/glaire) by one or two spiral bands of tissue called the chalazae. As a food, yolks are a major source of vitamins and minerals. They contain all of the egg's fat and cholesterol, and about one-half of the protein. If left intact while cooking fried eggs, the yellow yolk surrounded by a flat blob of whites creates the distinctive sunny-side up form of the food. Mixing the two components together before frying results in the pale yellow foam found in omelettes and scrambled eggs. All of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are found in the egg yolk. Egg yolk is one of the few foods naturally containing vitamin D. It is sometimes separated from the egg whites and used in cooking (for mayonnaise, custard etc.) Egg yolk can be used to make liqueurs such as Advocaat or eggnog. Egg yolks are used to extract egg oil which has various cosmetic, nutritional and medicinal uses.
- Soft-boiled eggs are a favourite breakfast dish for many children and even some adults too. To be precise, the eggs are not actually boiled; they are in fact simmered for a minimum of three minutes, depending on how well or how runny the diner likes his egg. Boiling an egg is not as easy as it sounds and producing a perfectly soft-boiled egg is in fact, all down to the timing.Hard boiled egg
- Hard-boiled eggs are much easier to cook than soft-boiled eggs, even though the method is much the same. You can use hard-boiled eggs to fill sandwiches, make salads or even as a topping for soups.Basically the method and the egg preparation is the same, but with hard-boiled eggs, the eggs may be placed in the pan along with the cold water rather than added once the water has begun to boil. Once the water is boiling, the heat is reduced to a simmer and the eggs are cooked for around 10 - 12 minutes. As with the soft-boiled eggs after cooking, the hard-boiled eggs are plunged into cold water and may be left there until they have completely cooled.Chopped egg
- The hard boiled egg can be chopped into small cubes on a chopping board or sliced into thin or thick slices with an egg slicer as per recipe requirement.Poached egg
- A perfectly poached egg has a lovely rounded shape, a soft yet firm white and a deliciously runny yolk. Poached eggs must be cooked in water that is very gently bubbling or simmering. The water is first brought to the boil and then by turning the heat down on the cooker, is allowed to gently simmer. The eggs are carefully added to the pan at this point. A gentle simmer allows the egg to sit in one place throughout cooking and cook nicely. Vinegar should be added to the water as it begins to boil, as this will help the egg white to coagulate more quickly and form a neat and compact shape.Fried egg
- When you add the eggs to the pan, it is best to crack each egg on the side of the pan and let the egg slide gently into the pan. The eggs may be fried for a couple of minutes or until the whites are firm and then served sunny side up. On the other hand, after frying one side, you might want to flip the egg over carefully with a spatula and gently fry the underside for around 20 - 30 seconds. A perfectly fried egg has a neat round opaque white, that has not spread out in the pan. The popular ways to eat fried eggs are in a sandwich or soft bread roll, served on top of hot buttered toast, accompanying French fries or even topping off a beef burger or served alongside another piece of meat.How to select
Chicken eggs are graded by size, for the purpose of sales . Ideally, you should buy your eggs from a supplier that has a high turnover and make sure you always check the best before date on the box . Inspect the eggs to see whether there are any broken or cracked eggs and also test the weight by holding one in your hand. The heavier the egg, the fresher it is. Recently, chicken eggs that are especially high in Omega 3 fatty acids have come on the market. These eggs are made by feeding laying hens a diet containing polyunsaturated fats and kelp meal.Culinary uses
" Chicken eggs are widely used in many types of dishes, both sweet and savory.
" Eggs can be pickled, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, scrambled, fried and even consumed raw as egg nog.
" As an ingredient, egg yolks are an important emulsifier in the kitchen, and the proteins in egg white allow it to form foams and aerated dishes
" Quail eggs are considered a delicacy in many countries. They are used raw or cooked as tamago in sushi
" Beaten egg whites are used in desserts such as meringues and mousse
" A fried egg can be placed alongside a couple of rashers of bacon, a sausage or two, a spoonful of baked beans, a large helping of tasty fried mushrooms, fried tomato and bread toast for a healthier option.How to store
Once you arrive home, you should store the eggs in the refrigerator at a constant temperature of 40°F (4°C) or below. Temperatures above 40°F may lead bacteria to grow and rapidly multiply. Keep the eggs in the original carton and place them on one of the shelves inside the fridge, where the temperature is cold and consistent. Do not store the eggs inside the fridge door, where warm air enters the fridge each time the door is opened. Eggs may be kept for up to five weeks if stored properly in the refrigerator. Make sure that the eggs are kept in the same position as when they were packaged, with the pointed end facing downwards, as this prevents any damage to the air cell.Health benefits
" Eggs add protein to one's diet, as well as various other nutrients.
" They supply all essential amino acids for humans,and provide several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, riboflavin, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, choline, iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. They are also an inexpensive single-food source of protein.
" All of the egg's vitamin A, D and E is in the egg yolk. The egg is one of the few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D. A large egg yolk contains approximately 60 Calories (250 kilojoules); the egg white contains about 15 Calories (60 kilojoules)
" Egg yolk is rich in cholesterol and thus should be had only in moderation by heart patients and diabetics.
" Cooked eggs are easier to digest as well as having a lower risk of salmonella infection.