Here are some interesting tidbits about the egg from the 19th Century perspective.
REMARKS. TO TEST. TO COLOR. CURIOUS FACTS. MODES OF COOKING.
EGGS are regarded by some as a great delicacy, by others as a prime article of food. But in either case, the mode of cooking has much to do with the satisfaction produced in the eating. The yolk is much more nutritious than the white.
To ascertain the freshness of an egg, hold it in the hand and look through it to the light. If it looks clear, there is tolerable assurance that it is good. Another test is to put them in a clear vessel of water. The good ones will lie on the side.
The eggs of the common hen are esteemed the best. They are much better when new-laid, than even a day or two afterwards.
Turkey eggs are almost equal to those of the hen—not quite so mild.
Goose eggs are large, and agreeable to the taste.
Duck eggs are richly flavored. The white is of a bluish tint, and will cook in less time than that of the hen.
Guinea-hen's eggs are smaller and more delicate than those of the common hen.
Eggs of wild fowl are usually colored, and often spotted. They frequently taste somewhat like the birds themselves.
Eggs of land birds, such as the plover, are much liked, but those of sea-fowl have a fishy taste that is disagreeable.
Turtle eggs are numerous, and have yolks only. The eggs of some varieties have no shell. They are very delicious. The turtle To Test. EGGS. Hard Boiled Eggs.
lays from i 50 to 200 at a time, and lays several times during the year.
Eggs contain a large amount of nutiment in a compact, quickly available form. It is stated as a fact that there is more nutriment in a dark than a white-shelled egg. The white in the latter is like limewater, while the former is gelatinous and will hold together if lifted a few inches and is a third more valuable for any culinary purpose.
TO TEST EGGS.
Put into water and a good egg will always lie on its side.
TO COLOR EGGS FOR EASTER.
Wind strips of bright-colored calico around the eggs, and then boil in lye; you will find them gayly colored. To color them yellow, boil with onion skins.
A curious fact about eggs is: A boiled egg will spin freely, while a raw egg can not be made to spin at all. Another curious fact is that the white is heavier than the yolk. A French gentleman hung up an egg in a little bag, lying on its side and marked the upper part of the shell with an X. In just one month he let the egg down, still enclosed in its bag, into a saucepan of boiling water. When hard he cut the egg open. The yolk he found adhering to the membrane, not of the lower, but of the upper shell, and thus was disproved the common belief that the yolk was heavier than the white or albumen.
Source: Mrs. Owens New Cook Book ©1897