To refrigerate an egg

It’s always something of a shock when I walk in to a European supermarket and see the eggs just sitting out on a shelf, not refrigerated, and not worried about being not refrigerated. It’s a stark contrast to what you see in the US where they’re held in cold storage. Of course, supermarkets are generally kept at a reasonable temperature in Europe and so one might shrug and assume that the Euro types must just like warm eggs.

The bigger shock though was when I was living in a small town called Abengourou in Ivory Coast and when you went to the market, there was the egg guy sitting under some form of a tin roof and all the eggs stacked up next to him in cartons. I should emphasize that even if you went in the morning, it was probably a brisk 30-33C (around 95F) and there the eggs were, with no form of cooling, just waiting to be bought. Needless to say, I ate a ton of these eggs. They were freakin’ scrumptious and probably my main source of food (besides roasted peanuts) while there, yet I never had any issues with any kind of illness, despite their being somewhat “cooked” prior to my buying them.

This kind of makes me shudder and wonder, “What the hell are we doing to something so perfect, delicious, and self-contained as the egg to make it need to be stored in a refrigerated environment in the US?” One can only assume that the eggs you buy in an American supermarket came a very, very long distance to get to you, were raised in rather horrid conditions, and are kept longer than they should be. If there’s anything else that should be added to that, I really, really don’t want to know what it is.

Needless to say, I’ve grown rather accustomed to my room temperature eggs. After all, they’re a whole lot better to cook with and have been the French “secret weapon” in all kinds of delicious business for eons.