Eggs are a miracle of nature. Surrounded by membrane and shell, the egg white and egg yolk are sealed inside a natural vacuum. Stored correctly, even older eggs can still be used for cooking.
You can test how fresh an egg is by placing it in a glass of water. The older the egg, the more it will float towards the surface. This happens because as an egg ages, the shell becomes more porous and the air sac becomes larger. Eggs can be used in different ways depending on their age. Raffaela Neussinger from the V-ZUG Gourmet Academy says: “Where possible, fresh eggs should be used in desserts that contain raw egg, such as tiramisu.” Anyone thinking of making macarons should also be aware that: “The egg whites required for this delicacy should ideally be kept in the fridge for a day prior to whipping”, says Neussinger. Why? Ageing the egg whites allows some of the water to evaporate, making the macarons more dense. Generally, however, egg whites are easier to whip when the eggs are fresh. Eggs are best kept in the door of the fridge. “Whatever you do, don’t place them at the back of the fridge as the eggs could get too cold and freeze”, advises Neussinger. Incidentally, eggs can also be stored at room temperature, but they keep for longer in the fridge. They can be sold in shops for up to 21 days after the date they were laid. However, they can still be consumed after that date. If you’re unsure, the smell test is very effective. Before adding them to a larger bowl, whisk each egg individually in a glass – if they smell off, they are rotten. However, because the membrane and shell form a natural vacuum, they can keep for as long as 3-4 months. As long as they don’t smell bad, they can still be used. Tip: if you’re uncertain but the eggs still smell good, you can always use them for baking. It’s quite safe – even our grandmothers knew that.