Do brown eggs taste any different than white eggs?

By all rights I should be talking about the history of baked Alaska, but all this egg talk is just too darn fun. That’s an outstanding question, reader Nick. And believe it or not there is some data out there on this. Turns out that in blind taste tests, consumers can’t tell the difference between white eggs and brown eggs, which many chefs and TV personalities swear are superior. Here in Kentucky we get a lot of green-shelled eggs (which thrill my Dr. Suess-loving daughters). The study didn’t specifically mention them, but my guess is that a blind taster wouldn’t be able to tell any difference there, either.

And would you believe that blind tasters also can’t tell the difference between fresh and old (refrigerated) eggs? Especially when they’re scrambled or fried, the vast majority of people can’t taste the difference between month-old refrigerated eggs and eggs that are fresh from the chicken.

9 thoughts on “Do brown eggs taste any different than white eggs?”

  1. I can’t taste the difference between a fresh egg and an old one, but it sure seems to make a difference in the fragility of the yolk. Where I live now, eggs are not normally refrigerated, which I understand causes them to age faster, but whatever the reason I have a heck of a time keeping the yolk intact when it comes to separating, frying, or poaching them. This was never a problem when I was buying refrigerated eggs, and refrigerating them after purchase doesn’t seem to make a difference. With experience, I’ve learned that half the battle seems to be getting a good, solid crack in the egg so the shell can easily be opened wide (as opposed to have a tiny crack for the egg to seep through), but the more you handle the egg the more likely you are to end up with a broken yolk.

    On the other hand, maybe it has nothing to do with refrigeration, but with the variety of hen they have here, or something like that….

    1. Have a look at today’s post on eggs and aging, Jimma. That should provide a few answers. Where do you live now, by the way?

      1. Thanks, I saw that post right after I commented. I live in Belgium now. A few supermarkets keep their eggs lightly refrigerated, but most have them sitting on unrefrigerated shelves (along with the milk, which is sterilized — and in that I can taste a difference, and it isn’t good). I usually buy my eggs at street markets, though, where they’re typically the freshest available but suffer, particularly in the summer, from sitting on the street in outdoor temperatures.

        1. I hear you for sure. Eggs and hot weather are a terrible combination. While I understand that there are good uses for older eggs, I’d run out of patience if I couldn’t get anything else!

  2. Hi Joe,

    My mother lives on several acres in Florida. So, she’s been lucky enough to raise several different breeds of hens over the years. And, I can tell you without a doubt the Rhode Island Reds lay the tastiest eggs.

    She’s experimented with several different breeds at the same time. With all breeds given the same food, water and ability to range. They’re all very spoiled. And, they’re all lucky to eat a very healthy diet of fruit, vegetables, grasses, and grains.

    The Rhode Island Reds always possess the richest and tastiest yolks. This richness and tasty quality are easiest to observe when the eggs are prepared “sunny side up”… or in a proper delicate French “scramble”. The rich color can also be seen in sauces and mayos. But, to really taste the difference, the egg needs to be prepared very simply.

    Now, she hasn’t raised EVERY breed. But, out of the different ones we’ve been lucky enough to sample, everyone in the family agrees that the Rhode Island Reds are superior.

    1. Thanks Michele! I have no doubt that for people who know fresh-from-the-hen eggs and enjoy them regularly that there are differences. It stands to reason: different breed would produce eggs with different characteristics. I’m just saying that the average egg-buyer on the street has a tough time telling them apart. But the next time I want a good eating egg I’ll try to find some Rhode Island Red eggs! Cheers! – Joe

  3. Brown, white, green, blue … the color of the shell simply depends on the breed (e.g., Aracaunas lay blue or green eggs, Rocks and a zillion other breeds lay brown, and lots of other breeds lay white). We’ve had brown layers that produce wonderfully tasty eggs and others (like the ones we have now) that lay insipid ones. Breed, season, what’s available to eat and all sorts of other factors seem to come into play to determine what’s great and what’s not. But freshness and lack of refrigeration really does seem to make a difference to us. Except when you want to hard-boil, in which case you need to find a several-week old one to have any hope of peeling properly!

    Love your blog. Keep baking!

  4. I used to think that the brown eggs from “Rhode Island Roosters” tasted the best, until someone told me that roosters don’t lay eggs. Either way, I can tell a big difference in a brown egg vs. white.
    1. The brown egg cracks much better than the white. So the shell is thicker.
    2. The yolks of whites taste funky compared to the browns.
    3. The whites of white eggs don’t seem to cook as nicely as the brown-egg egg-whites do.

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