Bird and fish eggs are common food sources. For fish eggs, see roe or caviar. Reptile eggs, particularly turtle eggs, are sometimes eaten as well. Chicken eggs are standard. Duck, goose, quail, and ostrich eggs are occasionally used as gourmet ingredients.
Eggs are frequently used to bind other ingredients together, trap air in the food, or create an emulsion. Sometimes the whole egg is cooked together. Sometimes the egg yolk is used separately from the egg white. In most recipes, a whole egg may be replaced with two egg whites to make a tastier and more healthful dish.
The "USDA Large" egg is about the same as the "EU size M" egg. (both being the standard choice in the appropriate locations) So, for normal recipes, it is best to avoid specifying egg size. USDA eggs are specified as the minimum weight of a dozen. EU eggs are specified as per-egg weight ranges, plus a per-100 minimum.
EU weight standard SIZE PER-EGG PER-100-MIN XL-very large 73 g and more 7.3 kg L-large 63 to 73 6.4 M-medium 53 to 63 5.4 S-small under 53 g 4.5
USDA weight standard CLASS MIN NET / DOZEN CONVERTED TO MIN GRAM/EGG Jumbo 30 ounces 70.75 Extra Large 27 ounces 63.675 Large 24 ounces 56.6 Medium 21 ounces 49.525 Small 18 ounces 42.45 Peewee 15 ounces 35.375
Eggs may also be pickled, hard-boiled and refrigerated, or eaten raw, though the latter is not recommended for people who may be susceptible to salmonella, such as the old, the infirm or pregnant women.
When eggs become rotten, the yolk will turn green and the egg will emit a sulphurous smell when broken. Although deemed offensive by most Western palates, fermented eggs are considered a delicacy by some in China, when prepared using a special method which includes letting them sit for three months to age (or rot, depending on one's interpretation).
Raw eggs may carry salmonella bacteria contaminations, and should be avoided by those with weak or undeveloped immune system. The bacteria will be killed in fully cooked eggs, which may be considered safe.
Eggs are used in many recipes; the ones below feature eggs as a primary ingredient. For a full list of recipes using eggs, see "what links here".
- Bacon Cheese Omelet
- British Lemon Meringue Pie
- Caesar Salad
- Chocolate Pear Bake
- Cottage Cheese Eggs
- Crème Brûlée
- Egg Butter
- Egg Casserole
- French Toast
- Fried Eggs
- Fried Rice
- Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie
- Not Quite Eggs Benedict
- Pound Cake
- Scrambled Eggs
- Southwestern Scramble
- Spanish Omelette
Some people can't eat eggs because of allergies or because of ethical convictions about egg production. People who have allergies are usually allergic only to the egg whites. Often people are only allergic as children and later grow out of it. People with ethical convictions against eggs include vegans and some vegetarians.
All these people must use egg substitutes. No egg substitutes are perfect replacements, and most are very application-specific, but in many recipes an acceptable finished product can be achieved. Common substitutes from scratch include corn starch (2T per egg) or soy flour (1T + 2T water). Many use ready-made substitutes such Ener-G brand egg replacer, which is largely made from potato starch. Tofu plus seasonings are often used as a substitute for scrambled eggs.