“Instagrammable” doesn’t even begin to cover the cuteness.
This week FreshDirect officially became the first known retailer to sell Farmer’s Eggs, a miniature version of the traditional chicken egg that make for the daintiest eggs you ever did see. (Okay, other than a quail egg.)
Directly sourced from Alderfer Family Farms, an organic farm in Pennsylvania, the Farmer’s Eggs, or “pullet eggs” as farmers call them, are laid by young chickens between 18 and 22 weeks old, explains FreshDirect co-founder David McInerney, who got the idea to sell the eggs while visiting the farm.
“We saw the farmers pulling certain eggs off of the conveyor belt and throwing them away,” he says. “It was simply a question of why.” They explained that supermarkets don’t like to sell them for supply reasons: “Because you get these eggs in the first four weeks of a hen’s growing cycle, there’s not a steady of flow of them year-round. [Alderfer, for example, raises new young chickens just three times a year.] And retailers also have a hard time explaining to customers why these eggs are smaller,” he says.
But McInerney didn’t mind that. (I mean, bespoke miniature eggs? Come on!) And now the eggs are sold on FreshDirect’s new private label, Just FreshDirect, through the end of the month.
At about three-quarters the size of regular eggs, you can prepare Farmer’s Eggs exactly the same way you would their standard-size sibs. How cute would they be deviled, poached on toast, served in a baked kale cup, or layered on a petite salade Nicoise? There’s no surcharge for their demure size. A dozen is $3.69, a little less than going rate of regular grain-fed, organic eggs.
Farmer’s Eggs have a dark, richer yolk, however, which McInerney and the Alderfer farmers say makes them a better tasting, more culinary variety. And that comes from the younger chickens being pickier eaters.
“When the farmers put out the feed, they see that the younger chickens are picking out more of the corn, which helps shape the color and taste [of their eggs],” McInerney says.
The also have some nutritional differences—50 calories to a traditional egg’s 70, and decreased cholesterol (140 mg versus 215 mg) and, alas, protein (5g versus 8g). But perhaps most importantly, selling the Farmer’s Eggs, which were previously thrown away, means that organic farmers aren’t wasting perfectly good food and are bringing in more revenue, allowing farmers to lower their overall cost structure.
“In a perfect world, we’d have everyone eating organic,” McInerney adds. “But it costs more. By consumers being open minded and supporting organic farmers, that helps a greater cause to making organic eggs more accessible.”
And, of course, eating tinier eggs makes a really cute brunch #foodstagram. —Jamie McKillop
For more information, visit www.freshdirect.com