When asked, Nanny declared, I prefer brown.  She wasn't talking about a favorite color of shoes, or a kind of bread; she was talking about an item that was an essential part of her recipes.  When she said make mine brown, she was referring to her favorite color of eggs.  She believed, as did many cooks from the Deep South, that brown eggs were better tasting, and had more nutritious than white eggs.   


Is it true that eggs have brown shells are better tasting than eggs with white shells?  Well, here is what I understand; years ago, farmers tended to purchase Rhode Island Red or Plymouth Rock chickens, because they are known as good stock.  Those breeds of chicken with dark colored feathers; produced the dark colored eggs.  For reasons unknown to the ordinary farmer, those who bought chickens as production layers; chose White Leghorns.  White Leghorns have white feathers, and lay white eggs.    


So, according to scientific analysis, what determines the outside color of an egg?  It can usually be determined by the color of the chicken, but that is not always the best indicator.  For years, people guessed about the tried and true way to determine the outside color of an egg.  So how can you know for sure?  Well, I'm getting to that. 


I owe most of what I know about chickens and eggs to my Nanny, she is the one who best understood the complicated world dealing with chickens and eggs.  During most of her life, fresh eggs were as close as the backyard.  Her mother raised chickens at the boarding house, where she grew up; when she married, and they moved to Terrell County, they had chickens that roamed their yard.  Going out to gather the eggs was part of her daily routine.  She was careful to look into the nest before reaching for the fresh eggs, just when you least expected it; a snake was napping inside the nest.     


Is there a difference in the taste?  The scientific answer is no, but Nanny preferred the brown eggs, because she believed that they tasted better.  It is a fact that brown eggs are more expensive to produce because the hens are larger, and they eat more.  Because farmers tended to purchase the larger chicks, and because the hens that are raised on the farm eat better than those living in chicken houses, the yolks have a more golden in color.  Cooks declare that the darker the yolk, the better the taste.   I guess the decision becomes a personal choice.  


So, again, how can you be sure what color of eggs a chicken will produce?  It's easy, just look inside the ear; the color of the egg will match exactly the color of the feathers in the chicken's ear.  Happy hunting!    


Here is another interesting fact:  bigger eggs come from older chickens.    


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