5

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How to tell if scrambled eggs come from a carton or from real eggs?

Answered on April 25, 2018
Created April 01, 2010 at 9:43 AM

When eating out, that is :)

I recently had some scrambled eggs from a breakfast buffet and only later did it occur to me that they might not have been made from "proper", unaltered eggs but perhaps from one of the pasteurised scrambled-egg mixes that comes in a carton (or so I'm told, never actually seen one of those cartons).

They tasted eggy enough and had both white and yellow (yolk) bits in them, but on the whole they were quite uniform in colour and texture (which was quite solid and with no big lumps). They also had a bit of a watery aftertaste, as though they had somehow been cooked in water (a bit like poached egg). In fact, there was some water left at the bottom of the plate...

In future I shall be avoiding scrambled eggs when eating out, to be on the safe side. But just in case, is there any way to tell the difference just by appearance, texture or taste? (other than asking staff, which may or may not yield a helpful response)

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on January 23, 2011
at 01:52 AM

Wow. I had no idea I could get glutened by eating an omelet - I thought that was one of my few safe options. Since I found out I have celiac disease, I have only eaten omelets at small mom and pop places. I could swear someone with celiac disease I met while travelling told me that Bob Evans had a lot of safe choices, but I really prefer mom and pop (or trendy places owned by young or alternative people) so I haven't gone. After reading Red Lobster's food allergy list, and realizing how cheap all the ingredients are, I'm going to more consciously work to rule out the big chains completely.

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on December 11, 2010
at 01:21 AM

Ok, but is there a problem with carton based egg dishes?

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on April 05, 2010
at 08:40 PM

Yuppers, for real. I've asked at my local Denny's, Perkins, and Villiage Inn. Plus two locally owned joints. All add batter to scrambled eggs (boxed and real eggs alike)! So fried/poached is a better way to go when eating eggs out.

A6c24d24be86cd02215a54feb8840206

(262)

on April 05, 2010
at 02:32 AM

NOOO! Is this for real? Besides extra sugar, restaurants really add extra calories?! Fried eggs and bacon are all I can eat now. Nothing wrong with that I suppose

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 03, 2010
at 03:10 AM

Heck, I would ask to see the chicken! LOL

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 01, 2010
at 06:00 PM

Sunny side up or over easy is the way to go! Poached also works. :)

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 01, 2010
at 04:46 PM

I wish this question had been asked before my workplace's end of term cooked breakfast yesterday: stuck to the bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs and black pudding, but the eggs tasted more of milk than eggs and the sausage and black pudding tasted like they were made from pure flour or some such, rather than meat.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on April 01, 2010
at 03:38 PM

Okay, now, I *really* didn't want to know that! Dang. (But thanks for the tip.)

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9 Answers

best answer

6
21c7c64bab83c19bae4786e623394ece

(260)

on April 01, 2010
at 10:22 AM

Being in the business, I think it's a safe bet to say that at the larger establishments ALL buffet scrambled eggs are from "mixes/cartons". Most to all product in commercial kitchens (ie, hotels/restaurants) is supplied by Sysco's type companies. It's all boxed/packaged food. This includes a lot of the produce and fruit too.

10034c23f65addc5735eb02a32448223

(361)

on December 11, 2010
at 01:21 AM

Ok, but is there a problem with carton based egg dishes?

9
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on April 01, 2010
at 12:59 PM

Another concern when eating eggs out; often pancake or waffle batter will be used to thicken eggs (mixed or real)! I no longer eat scrambled or omlettes unless I know it is simply eggs cracked into the bowl. "Thickened" eggs with a touch of sugar and gluten is not what I want for breakfast! This practice is seen from Mom and Pop to large nationwide chains.

Stick to sunny side up, or over easy fried eggs to get clear knowledge you have an unadulterated egg.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 01, 2010
at 06:00 PM

Sunny side up or over easy is the way to go! Poached also works. :)

A6c24d24be86cd02215a54feb8840206

(262)

on April 05, 2010
at 02:32 AM

NOOO! Is this for real? Besides extra sugar, restaurants really add extra calories?! Fried eggs and bacon are all I can eat now. Nothing wrong with that I suppose

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on April 01, 2010
at 03:38 PM

Okay, now, I *really* didn't want to know that! Dang. (But thanks for the tip.)

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on April 05, 2010
at 08:40 PM

Yuppers, for real. I've asked at my local Denny's, Perkins, and Villiage Inn. Plus two locally owned joints. All add batter to scrambled eggs (boxed and real eggs alike)! So fried/poached is a better way to go when eating eggs out.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on January 23, 2011
at 01:52 AM

Wow. I had no idea I could get glutened by eating an omelet - I thought that was one of my few safe options. Since I found out I have celiac disease, I have only eaten omelets at small mom and pop places. I could swear someone with celiac disease I met while travelling told me that Bob Evans had a lot of safe choices, but I really prefer mom and pop (or trendy places owned by young or alternative people) so I haven't gone. After reading Red Lobster's food allergy list, and realizing how cheap all the ingredients are, I'm going to more consciously work to rule out the big chains completely.

2
6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on April 01, 2010
at 11:55 AM

You can't really tell by appearance. If you're eating very high quality eggs at home, all eggs you eat out might not taste as good. :)

I just order mine over-easy, then I know they are cracking eggs for me. This doesn't help on a buffet, of course, but even the liquid eggs from a carton are better than 90% of what else is on that breakfast buffet!

1
0d821bf7d4028b84a6838062db0e9ce0

(754)

on April 02, 2010
at 07:18 PM

probably they were, another thing to note though if your eggs are super rubbery, and water is coming out of them/under them, they are overcooked. You can do the same thing at home, a perfect scrambled egg you actually under cook slightly in the pan and let the residual heat finish the job on the plate (learned form Good Eats with Alton Brown).

if you want to to be sure its a real egg, get fried eggs, you can't really fake them and you can ask for them to be cooked in real butter too for a bonus.

1
8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

on April 01, 2010
at 04:59 PM

I know it was suggested, but I definitely recommend just asking the server. In most cases, they want you to order what you want -- because your dissatisfaction with the meal would result in them getting lower tips!

If the food's not good, and overall everything seems pretty sketchy, chances are that your eggs are "cartoned" and they lied to you (if they just told you what you wanted to hear).

A safe bet, though, is that if the place you're dining at is constantly packed at breakfast, they're using quality ingredients.

0
5b4e83577e32b2035b245baddcc337db

on April 25, 2018
at 04:43 PM

I worked in a breakfast restaurant for many years. We used to use real eggs in our scrambled eggs until the health inspectors said we couldn’t anymore. We would scramble the eggs to order, and would probably need about 20-30 scrambled per minute during volume periods. Apparently not changing the scrambling bowl every third or fourth egg (so seven times a minute for three hours) was a salmonella risk, so they informed us that we had to start using the pasteurized mixtures or else. After months of fighting with them, we caved.

0
D6d0fe77a97fb177df0ff1b1950a6e35

on February 15, 2012
at 04:49 PM

The amount of speculation and misinformation in this thread is astounding. Unless you see the eggs get cracked with your own eyes, the scrambled eggs you get at the typical hotel's high glycemic, high carb, high fat buffet is a powdered or liquid (usually liquid) egg mix that has more fat, more calories and less nutrition than the same eggs straight from the shell. Typically, some kind of vegetable oil and extra yolks are added.

I once worked at a restaurant where we did a lot of buffets. We used liquid eggs called "Eggs In A Bag". I read the ingredients and I was not impressed.

On the other hand, the all-egg-white egg substitute products are pretty good, from what I've seen. They are more expensive than just buying eggs and removing the yolks yourself when cooking. But, when you're on the road, asking for Egg Beaters is a good idea. Those type of products do not generally add glutenous or unhealthy additives.

0
6c58b7406eb6cee0f97a2336ebbce26e

on December 10, 2010
at 08:27 PM

You can tell "real" eggs in a buffet setting because they turn green after 15 minutes or so which is why almost every restaurant on earth running a buffet will use a mix. The mix is still made from real eggs so I don't see the point at issue here. What gets added in a mix is a small amount of citric acid (like lemon juice) that keeps the eggs from turning green but without tasting like a lemon. Even many "made to order" restaurants will use a mix (just not all at once) although your chances of getting "real" eggs straight from the shell is better in that setting.

0
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on April 01, 2010
at 04:48 PM

If you are at a hotel breakfast- they are powered. Powered scramble eggs get into small ball shapes. Ask to see the shells.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 03, 2010
at 03:10 AM

Heck, I would ask to see the chicken! LOL

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