I visited the Moore Square Farmers Market a week ago Wednesday (yes, it’s been a busy week for me) before meeting a friend for lunch, and I stopped by the Coon Rock Farm booth. I like Coon Rock Farm, because they’re local, they’re organic and they do things the right way. Many of their vegetables are heirloom varieties, and they raise and sell pasture raised pork. But one of the things I like most about Coon Rock is their freshly laid eggs — from hens who roam freely around the farm. We’re not talking about “free range” chicken eggs, where the chickens have access to the pasture — these chickens spend their days walking about, foraging for food in addition to what Coon Rock feeds them. I think it’s that extra foraged food that makes the difference.
This isn’t a watery, mass-produced egg. The yolks are a deep, rich orange, filled with flavor — they look much more like the eggs you see in France or Italy. The whites firm up quickly and tightly. As a shameless lover of poached eggs, this made my Wednesday night pasta dish so much more unctuous and tasty. Even my daughter, who does not really like egg yolks at all asked me if I can make that dish for her sometime soon.
I’m not a Slow Food zealot. I do most of my shopping at the Harris Teeter, buying industrial-style meat and produce. But my food budget is slowly shifting to the local producers. The artisans. The ones who know how much better sustainable practices are for our environment while truly recognizing that these practices result in tastier food. If it didn’t taste good, I wouldn’t eat it. But these eggs, even at twice the price of the supermarket version, are so worth it. We’re all trying to keep our costs down as the price of gas and food and everything else keeps climbing. But I’m not going to sacrifice on those things that taste good, particularly when that food has been brought to the table humanely.