First of all, let's get one common misconception about eggs out of the way - the color of an egg's shell has absolutely no bearing on the quality of the yolk or white it contains. The reason why egg shells can be two different colors is that brown eggs are laid by hens with red or brown feathers with red ear lobes, while white eggs come from hens with white feathers and ear lobes.
While the color of the shell makes absolutely no difference to the taste and quality of an egg, can the same be said when it comes to yolk color? Research carried out by the United States Department of Agriculture has shown that a yolk's color has no effect on the amount of nutrition that it contains.
Each egg yolk contains more fat, less water, and slightly under half that amount of protein as an egg white, and is also the place where most of the vitamins and minerals can be found, including vitamins A and D, iron, calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, and thiamine.
Yolks change color depending on what the hen has been fed throughout its life. Bonnie Taub-Di, RDN, author of "Read it Before You Eat It - From the Label to the Table," compared the way a chicken's diet affect yolk color to the way in which eating beets can affect the color of human urine. In a similar fashion, people who take iron supplements may find that their stool has turned black or very dark brown.
"A hen’s diet impacts the color of the yolk in her eggs. If she’s eating plants that have yellow-orange pigments, then the yolk can take on a more orange color. If her feed is composed of corn or wheat, the color of the yolk could be a more pale color," Taub-Dix told TODAY Food.
While it is apparent that the color of an egg yolk has little to no bearing on an egg's nutritional value when it comes to taste it's a whole different story. In fact, many of the world's top chefs, farmers, and food critics swear that the color of a yolk can have a huge impact on taste, and can sometimes make or break a meal. According to these experts, the more vibrant a yolk's hue is, the better it will taste.
There's actually a restaurant in New York City called Le Coq Rico which is famous for its 'egg-centric' brunch, which encourages diners to pick and choose exactly what kind of eggs they fancy eating. Anthony Battaglia, the general manager, also firmly believes that eggs have varying flavor profiles, and that a bright orange yolk has the richest taste. If you're looking to buy the best-tasting eggs possible, then Battaglia recommends having a good look at how the hens that laid them were raised and fed.
If you found this interesting, then don't forget to share it!