Deciding between scrambled or poached at your favorite brunch spot is tough. But decoding your egg carton at the grocery store? Damn near impossible. Enter our handy egg-cyclopedia (sorry) explaining the meaning behind those egg grades.
Here’s the deal: The eggs you pick up from the store are graded AA, A or B. You’d think that top marks would go to the eggs that taste the best, but actually these grades have nothing to do with flavor, nutritional value or size. Instead, these letters indicate how an egg’s white, yolk and shell look during inspection (eggs go through a scanner that can sense defects).
Eggs with the highest grade, AA, have thick and firm whites, and round yolks. Grade A eggs are almost as good, with whites that are “reasonably” firm. Meanwhile, Grade B eggs have thinner whites, flatter yolks and some shell discoloration, which is why they’re typically used in those refrigerated cartons of liquid egg whites.
What does all this mean for your breakfast? No matter the grade, all eggs sold in the supermarket are safe to eat (and um, delicious). So it really just comes down to appearances. Having your in-laws over for eggs Benedict this weekend? Spring for the AA carton. Cracking some eggs to bake a cake? Meh, go for a lower grade. Still deciding between poached or scrambled? Sorry, you’re on your own.