Being a food blogger for the past three years has brought many great things to my life. For one, it gives me reason to be creative: something I’ve always valued but may have lost if I hadn’t found an outlet for it after starting my real-life job as an engineer. It’s introduced a whole world of ideas to bring to my table that I would never find in cookbooks alone. Being a blogger has even been a way to make new friends, both virtual and in person. Lately, I’ve even got some great freebies
. And one of the best things about being a food blogger is getting invited to events sponsored just for people like me, like this one sponsored by Eggland’s Best
and organized by the Kitchenbelle
herself, Mary Kate.
When I got Mary Kate’s invite I didn’t hesitate to accept, even though I typically loathe driving into Boston on a weeknight, especially when there’s a game at Fenway! But this was a clear exception. Eggland’s Best was going to be in town and I didn’t want to waste an opportunity to find out what they’re all about.
If you’ve visited my blog at all lately you’ve probably noticed that I use a lot of eggs. I have even been buying Eggland’s Best at least half the time, partially because I have one store nearby that always has a great deal on them, but also because I knew they are supposed to be superior. But why exactly? I wasn’t totally sure. I’ve talked plenty about eggs with respect to what I already know about their nutritional value, so I’m now going to share with you all the new things I learned.
An egg is an egg, right? Of course not! Did you know that Eggland’s Best guarantees the freshest possible eggs in every market, with no more than 72 hours from hatching to packaging? Did you know that Eggland’s Best food safety practices and quality control are among the highest in the industry? How about the fact that their eggs are fed a strictly vegetarian diet high in vitamins, rather than food scraps from other industry? All of these factors, as well as many more, combine to produce the highest quality, most nutrient-packed eggs you can buy in your grocery store. Personally, I feel really good knowing that I am getting a great product and supporting a company who cares about me!
Now, on to the fun stuff… and then a few more interesting points!
The generous folks at Eggland’s Best provided all of us with a (reusable) swag bag full of goodies. Coupons, a cookbook, an umbrella, a cute plush stuffed egg, even a package of hardboiled eggs!
Centerpieces and decor involved eggs too, of course. (And always remember that good things come to those who wait – by sticking around till the very end I even managed to snag a dozen to take home. It would be crazy to let those precious eggs go to waste!)
We started the evening sipping Bloody Marys and Mimosas and munching on deviled eggs. The first course involved a fresh cut fruit and a chopped salad with hardboiled eggs, beautiful red and yellow tomatoes, bacon and red onion. I think there was some gorgonzola in there too.
Upon seeing the menu “choices” I immediately knew what I’d pick, but when I learned that it would be served buffet-style, I was excited to try everything! There was the thickest french toast I’ve ever seen, citrus-scented, with Vermont maple syrup. Creamy linguine carbonara with smoked bacon, parmesan, and perfectly poached eggs on top. Perfectly tender steak and eggs accompanied by red potatoes. And a omelet stuffed with duck confit, goat cheese, mushrooms and spinach. Can you guess which one I was prepared to order?
For dessert, we indulged in a warm chocolate torte with rich gelato and chocolate sauce. Fortunately for my waistline, it was no bigger that what you see here, because when it comes to chocolate and desserts I have no limit!
I got to spend time catching up with so many fun bloggers, including my good friends Sophie and Jen. As we enjoyed dinner and girl talk, we also got the chance to ask any questions we had about eggs. If Roger, Lanie, or Bart (our Eggland’s Best gurus) couldn’t answer them, I bet no one could!
Personally, I’ve always wondered about Eggland’s Best packaging. I feel good buying a good product, but I’ve always felt a little guilty about buying a styrofoam package when all the other eggs are offered in recyclable cardboard. As it turns out, the EB folks recognize that this a concern among many consumers and they are working on a cost-efficient, environmentally-friendly alternative. But in the meantime, they want us to know that…
* Styrofoam containers provide the best cushion for eggs, meaning less broken eggs in the grocery store or in your car on the way home. Since they select only the best eggs for their consumers, they of course don’t want them to break in transit!
* Styrofoam containers keep moisture out better than cardboard. Moisture + eggs = not good.
* Styrofoam containers are in fact recyclable! But if your community does not collect this material for recycling, you can collect your Eggland’s Best packages and send them back to the manufacturer at the following address:
Dolco Packaging, PO Box 1005, 2110 Patterson Street, Decatur, IN 46733-5005
You can also read more about Eggland’s Best Packaging here
Another great question was raised about the nutritional content in Eggland’s Best eggs. The company feeds their hens a controlled diet to produce eggs with higher amounts of vitamins E and D, lutein, omega 3, and several other carefully chosen nutrients compared to other eggs on the market. Why these nutrients, specifically? EB realizes that although eggs are a wonderful addition to almost any diet, vegetarians rely on eggs as one of a handful of protein sources. The nutrients which are fortified in EB eggs are those which are typically found in meats and fish, and therefore might be lacking in a vegetarian diet.
Finally, we got a nice lesson on the difference between regular EB eggs, cage-free, and organic eggs. Traditional eggs come from hens raised in cages; cage-free eggs are from hens which are confined indoors, but not in cages; organic eggs come from hens who are cage-free and have access to the outdoors. In my opinion there are pros and cons to each scenario. Cage-free and organic hens are much more susceptible to diseases since they roam free around manure, dust and germs; they also suffer injuries from pecking at each other. So while caged hens may not be the happiest, they do seem to be the healthiest (because of their lower fatality rate.) But no matter which variety you choose, be assured that you are getting the same nutritionally superior, highest quality egg on the market.
I really had a wonderful time at this event and I’d like to thank Mary Kate for organizing, and the Eggland’s Best folks for treating us bloggers and really taking an interest in what we are doing with their products.
Finally, I’ll point out a few of my favorite recent egg recipes – which can be made even better with the best eggs!