By Amy L. Hatch
Thanks to the University of Illinois, you can buy farm fresh eggs almost right out of the nest at the U of I Nest-Run Egg Sale each Tuesday and Thursday morning.
What’s a nest-run egg? Pam Utterback, wife of Chet, the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences poultry farm manager, tells us that the definition of a nest-run egg is one that has been neither graded nor washed, as are the eggs you buy in a carton at the grocery store. Not “graded” means that that the eggs haven’t been sized.
Doug, the gentleman who was on duty when I stopped by at the sale location (3603 S. Race Street in Urbana, between Windsor and Curtis avenues), told me that the federal government has very strict regulations when it comes to washing eggs, right down to the temperature of the water — and they just don’t have the resources.
These eggs also haven’t been checked for defects, like spots of blood in the yolk, so you may
get a surprise when you crack one or two open. However, these are still delicious, fresh eggs, and you can get either brown or white, in sizes large, extra large and jumbo, and you can even get eggs enhanced with Omega-3.
The eggs are sold by the flat (which is about two-and-a-half dozen) and both the Omega-3 eggs and the brown eggs are slightly more expensive. The average price is $5 per flat.
I stopped by on a Thursday morning, and there were plenty of eggs available for sale. But don’t forget your checkbook — they don’t take credit cards. Cash, of course, is accepted.
The sales are limited to Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 10 a.m., but if you still want to get nest-run eggs you can buy them at the Meat Lab (another Chambana gem), as well.
I can totally see myself stopping in for a couple of flats when holiday baking season rolls around. Hope to see you there, too!