How do you spot a good egg? Rachael Rowe has been speaking to judge Paul Tory to find out what makes some eggs hard to beat
Paul Tory is chairman of the Dorset and Wiltshire Poultry Society and he organises the judging at Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show. So he seemed the right person to ask what the judges are actually looking for in an egg?
‘The basic principle of egg judging; you are looking at a single egg, three eggs together or their contents. With duck eggs, we always judge three, which all need to be egg-shaped (hold that thought – Ed) and identical in size. There should be no blemishes, and the eggs should be blue.
‘You look at the size, the weight (they should all be the same weight), and you sniff for freshness.
‘When it comes to contents, there are three aspects. First, the yolk should be yellow. The inner white part should be clearly separate and jelly-like. Finally, the outer white is watery. None should be runny – the runnier it is, the worse the egg. The more orange a yolk, the healthier it is. It should also be round and protruding – like a rising sun.’
Pointy, oblong and squat
There are some similarities with chicken eggs but also differences from the duck eggs. Paul says:
‘Chicken’s eggs are either white, blue, or brown. The white ones need to be as white as possible – it’s a hard class to win because white eggs show minor defects. There is also a class for one egg of each colour from three different chickens.
‘In all cases, eggs should be egg-shaped with no blemishes.’
I’m left wondering what other shape an egg could be (and the effect on the chicken) when Paul explains that some eggs are oblong. There is also an odd-shaped egg class where you could find pointy eggs, squat-shaped ones and double yolks – and maybe a few oblong ones.
And finally, there are individual egg classes: “The winner is a stand-out egg and catches your eye. It glistens without a shine and is not dull.”
After talking to Paul, I’m sure I’ll never look at an egg the same way again.