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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Know your farmer

Using eggs from Salt Fork Farms has proven to be a richer product for our customer. The egg yolks give all of our custards rich flavor and extreme color. I clearly wanted to show the difference in lemon curd when using local, pasture raised and fed eggs. I have asked the farmer (Eric Menzel) to contribute to this blog and educate us why this is so. Read below.
The color (and consistency) of egg yolks is due to two main factors:
1) the diet (and coincidently the environment) of the chicken
2) the breed of chicken

Primarily, the color of a yolk is caused by chickens eating green things. Our birds have kelp meal in their feed and graze on pasture, so they consume green plants on a regular basis. The green chlorophyl from the plants is imparted to the yolk. Some larger commercial egg companies add colorants to the feed in order to achieve this effect, but you can still tell the real deal. The consistency of the yolk and the white (albumen) is due to both the breed of chicken and the environmental conditions they experience. Our chickens are standard breeds, bred for both eggs and meat. These breeds were developed over 50 years ago in New England to be what we now know as free-range. They thrive in open fields, hunting bugs, scratching for roots, and pecking away at green leaves. The diversity of their diet on pasture and thus the nutritional intake they receive give the egg a rich viscous consistency. Oh the custards we can make!


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