Do you know how to tell if an egg is rotten? There are two ways that I know of:
- crack it open and see if it reeks of sulphur — a rotten egg really does smell awful.
- put it in water and see if it floats — the decidedly less stinky alternative.
I admit, all too often I just assume that all my eggs will be good. If it occurs to me that I have some old eggs, then I test them.
Last weekend I was making potato salad. I didn’t really think about how fresh — or not — my eggs were as I put them in the pan and covered them with water. As I started to put the lid on the pan, it hit me: two of the eggs were floating with their tops out of the water.
I pushed them underwater just to be sure. Yep, they were floating.
I took one and put it in a glass of water — just to get a better view. Very obviously floating.
It hit me that when I’m already putting eggs into a pan with water to boil them, it was an automatic way to check if they were still good. I just had to remember to look at them!
I carefully packed the bad eggs into cans in the trash, using some paper scraps to pad them. I really, really didn’t want them to crack on the way to the trash!
I discovered a couple more bad eggs in the carton and it finally hit me to look at the date on the carton. The “use by” date was six weeks ago. Hmm. But 5 of the 9 eggs in the carton still passed the float test and I used them, proving that eggs aren’t always bad just because they’re past their “use by” date.