LJ fairburn Poultry

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40 Fantastic Egg Facts

Oct 7, 2020

We’re celebrating British Egg Week and World Egg day (October 9) by sharing 40 cracking facts and stats about our favourite food and the chickens that lay them…

1.    Us Brits eat 13 billion eggs every year. That’s a lot of poaching, scrambling and boiling!

2.    The average UK shopper consumes 197 eggs every year.

3.    The Japanese eat the most eggs: a whopping 320 per person annually. 

4.    There is no recommended limit on how many eggs people should eat.

5.    It’s alleged chickens from different countries have their own distant language and accents, just like humans!

6.    People began eating scrambled eggs in the 1860s, and poached eggs as early as 1450.

7.    In October 2017, students and lecturers at Exeter College clinched a Guinness World Record for 183 people dipping eggs soldiers simultaneously.

8.    The fastest omelette maker in the world is Guinness World Record holder Howard Helmer, who made 427 two-egg omelettes in just 30 minutes.

9.    To produce one egg, it takes a hen 24-26 hours.

10.  The eggs match the hen. White eggs tend to be laid by chickens with white feathers and white earlobes, brown eggs by brown hens with red earlobes.

11. The average hen lays 200-300 eggs every year.

12.  Hens often sing an ‘egg song’ before, during and after laying.

13. Chickens are social animals and establish community hierarchies – hence the term ‘pecking order’!

14. The Guinness World Record for eating hard-boiled eggs was broken in 2003 by Sonya Thomas, who gobbled down 65 eggs in six minutes, 40 seconds. It’s said she would have eaten more but ran out of eggs!

15.  As a hen grows older, she produces larger eggs.

16.  The word ‘yolk’ comes from an old English word ‘geoloca’ which is thought to mean ‘the yellow part’. The word used to be spelt ‘yelk’.

17. The hen’s diet determines the colour of the yolk. The feed for our British Blue hens, for exmaple, consists of a grain mix with extracts from brightly coloured flowers, which delivers a superbly rich tasting, natural golden yolk.

18.  It is a myth that a souffle falls due to loud noises or bangs. The rise and fall of this dish is solely to do with temperature. Warm air expands the air in the egg white, cool air deflates it like a balloon.

19.  Not all chickens lay every day. Some breeds lay every other day or two to three times a week.

20.  Older eggs are easier to peel than fresher eggs. This is due to the fact they have larger air cells.

21.  The average hen will lay more than 500 eggs in her lifetime.

22.   Scrambled eggs or, as they were known then, ‘buttered eggs’ – were first cooked in the 16th century.

23.  A 17-year-old British hen called Victoria gave her owner a surprise when she laid two eggs after 13 years of no egg laying!

24.  Spicy stuffed eggs were first developed in the in 13th century but only became known as ‘devilled eggs’ in the 18th century.

25.  Before chocolate Easter eggs, eggs were given as a gift to celebrate spring – for more than 2,000 years.

26.  The egg was seen as a symbol of creation in many ancient civilisations.

27.  Since 2006, egg consumption in the UK has grown year-on-year, rising by 3bn eggs over that period. 

28.  Because of improved food safety controls in recent years, infants, children, pregnant women and elderly people can now safely eat raw or lightly cooked hen eggs, or foods containing them, that are produced under the British Lion Code of Practice.

29.  The egg white is high in protein, vitamins and minerals, while the yolk offers essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins.

30.  Containing just 74 calories each, eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can eat.

31.  A study of nearly half a million people in China suggested a daily egg might reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

32.  Move over Bake Off! Culinary evidence confirms cakes using eggs were made by the Ancient Egyptians and Romans.

33.  Eggs have been sold by the dozen since the Anglo-Saxon era. Eggs were sold for a penny or 12 for a shilling, which was equal to 12 pennies.

34.  Recipes for soft- and hard-boiled eggs date back to Egyptian times.

35.  It’s not clear who ‘invented’ the Benedict but it’s thought the dish was first cooked at posh New York restaurants, such as the Waldorf Astoria, for several wealthy diners – all with the name Benedict.

36.  The origins of the omelette can be traced to ancient Persia. 

37.  Fortnum & Mason claim to have started making the Scotch egg in the 1730s as a portable snack for well-heeled coach travellers.

38.  It’s thought that the Ancient Egyptians incubated eggs inside cool underground caves, in around 1400 BCE, in order to preserve them. As a sacred food, they were also kept inside their temples.

39.  The biggest egg every laid was in 2010 when Harriet, a hen owned by a cab driver in Essex, laid an egg measuring 9.1 inches in diameter.

40.  Brown shells have the same thickness as the shell of white eggs. But younger hens have harder shells than eggs laid by older hens.