Pete and Gerry’s Harans Heirloom Eggs
I was so impressed with the egg quality and flavor, as well as the color of the yolk in my previous post on Pete and Gerry’s Ameruacana Eggs (no, that’s not a typo), that I picked up the other version of Heirloom Eggs that Pete and Gerry’s sells. These are also listed on the Pete and Gerry’s Heirloom Eggs website. Though somewhat less spectacular, these eggs turned out to be every bit as good in a few varied ways. It is possible that some of what I noticed as differences can be attributed to the maturity of the seasonal diet that the hens were eating. I’ll discuss this more as I make these observations. Ultimately, though, I found these eggs to be equally excellent to the Ameruacana variety, though, as I mentioned above, their color makes them less exciting. If that’s the only meaningful difference, these should be enjoyed just as often as the Ameruacana eggs.
Bright Orange Yolks, Thick Viscous Whites
The color of the yolk was exactly the type of bright orange color that I am looking for, as you can see in the picture. The thing that surprised me about this egg was the size of the yolk compared to the volume of the egg. I know that the size of the yolk is somewhat determined by how soon the egg is collected and refrigerated, so that could be a single egg anomaly. But if you take a look at my next picture, you’ll see that both eggs had quite large yolks. I am curious if there is a nutritional consideration in the size of the yolk or if, possibly, this entire batch was simply collected later in the day than might otherwise be normal.
The egg whites on this egg were extraordinary. As you can see from the picture, they were extremely viscous, and held together very very well. The way I cook the eggs would cause a less viscous egg white to come apart, or at least spread more, but these retain almost the same shape cooked as they did before being cooked. I am looking forward to trying some scrambled eggs with this egg, since I want to see how well it holds together while I’m stirring it.
While the color was similar between the Ameruacana and the Harans egg, the flavor was vastly different. In fact, the flavor of the Harans egg was unlike any other egg I’ve ever tasted. The flavor was nuanced, and approached something I might call “sweet”. I don’t think I’ve ever had occasion to describe an egg like this, and I’m not sure what it is that made these taste that way. I cooked them the same way as my other The Egg Project eggs, so there shouldn’t be a drastic difference… Regardless, the flavor was exquisite, and I am really looking forward to more!
What stood out:
These were quite good eggs, and I really enjoyed eating them! In addition to being excellent on their own merits, these eggs had the following surprising qualities that made them even more interesting:
They had a slight sweet flavor to them. I’m not sure what can cause this. Eating grass while it’s still very young and growing could give them a bit of extra sugar in their diet; perhaps that might be passed on to the egg. I suppose it is also possible that some of the other green vegetation that these chickens were pecking through to find bugs and grubs were also sweet, like clovers. This is an interesting flavor, and something I will be looking in to further.
The egg-white was extraordinarily viscous. This is a true statement even after considering other “Pastured” organic eggs, including the other heirloom variety offered by Pete and Gerry’s. Being perfectly honest, I didn’t expect anything like this when I cracked these eggs open. It was as surprising to me as the pictures must be for you!
The critique over with, here is what I use as a base for evaluation of my eggs.
- √ Pastured, Cage-Free hens
- √ No hormones or antibiotics
- √ Certified Organic
- √ Certified Humane
- √ Sustainable farm raised
- Soy-Free Feed
These eggs get a shining check-mark for each of the first 5 of my criteria. Checking out their site thoroughly, I can’t find anywhere which promises soy-free feed. As I stated above in the critique of the eggs, the eggs were delicious, and the yolks were a bright orange (also surprisingly sweet), which indicates that they eat plenty of grass (and maybe some clover?). Further, the whites were thick and viscous, so the chickens clearly had some live protein in their diet.