Egg Palatability

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After World War II, Dr. Hugh Cott of Cambridge University conducted a series of egg-tasting experiments to determine the palatability of eggs from various species of birds. He assembled a panel of three egg tasters, who were served the eggs scrambled and then rated them on a 10-point scale. Over a six-year period (1946-1951) they tasted eggs from 212 bird species. They rated domestic hen eggs as tastiest (8.8 out of 10). The coot, moorhen, and lesser black-backed gull came in second place (8.3 out of 10). Penguin eggs were “particularly fine and delicate in flavor.” Domestic duck eggs were of only “intermediate palatability.” Coming in at the bottom were the eggs of the great tit (“salty, fishy, and bitter”), wren (“sour, oily”), and the oyster-catcher (“strong onion-like flavor”). The eggs of the bar-headed goose made the tasters gag.

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