"When you buy eggs, the choices stretch out for a good portion of the refrigerated section at your local grocery story. Did you ever stop to think about how long some of those eggs have been in the store before you buy them and bring them home? How do you know if what you’re buying is truly fresh? Understanding the Dates One method is to check out the Julian Date that’s stamped just to the left of the expiration date on a carton of eggs. That’s where you’ll find a number between 000 and 365, indicating the day of the year that the eggs were washed and placed into the cartons. In the picture above, the carton says 184, which means the eggs were packed into cartons on July 2nd. Note that the expiration date is August 18. The expiration date is more than 7 weeks later than the Julian Date. That’s not uncommon, by the way. If that’s not your idea of fresh, you might want to look for a good Julian Date. (The Julian date simply numbers the days; it starts at 1 for January 1, and goes to 365 for December 31. So September 12 is Julian Date 255 and October 27 with Julian Date 300.) Will your egg float? You can try this at home easily. Carefully place one of your eggs in a glass of water. If the egg sits perfectly flat on the bottom of the glass, it’s very fresh. If it floats, it’s not fresh. Or you may discover that your egg is somewhere in-between. An egg that’s not perfectly fresh or very old will stand with the fatter end up. That’s because as an egg ages, an air pocket develops in the larger end of the egg. What can a fresh egg do? Fresh eggs boast bright yellow yolks and tighter whites. A sunny side up fan will notice right away because the golden yolk sits a little higher. The longer an egg sits on a shelf, the more the textures of the white and yolk become thinner. With semi-fresh or less fresh eggs, they fry up runny and spread out – and the yolks can be pale yellow. Fresh eggs separate more easily, and they also work better for poaching. One caveat: If you boil eggs that are 5 days old or less, you find that they’re difficult to peel. For the best taste and nutrition, fresh is always better. If you’re dreaming of a sumptuous breakfast, you can find beautiful, fresh, organic eggs at Reedy Fork to get you started. (Freshly-squeezed orange juice not included.) "

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