Egg farmers hit upon gourmet product
A Victorian egg farming couple has developed an Australian first: cold-smoked eggs – taking eggs to a next level of flavour and creating a “safe” egg that’s free from bacteria.
The pair stumbled across the idea by accident, after Julie Kos decided to buy her husband Paul a smoker for their wedding anniversary.
“I started smoking anything and everything, and being an egg farmer, I had to try smoking an egg,” Julie says. “I thought the worst that could happen was it wouldn’t be very nice.”
Julie – originally a chef by trade – then made Paul a quiche with the smoked egg, even though Paul claimed that he “hated” quiche.
“But that night we were eating it and he said, ‘You’ve actually taken this to a new level – I don’t like quiche but this is really gourmet’,” Julie recalls.
Julie then trialled more smoked eggs on her family, who encouraged her to commercialise the idea. While it took a lot of trial and error, the Smoked Egg Company is now in business, and is rolling the product out to IGA stores across the country.
The cold-smoking process opens up the pores of the shell, infusing a delicious smoky flavour into the egg. Raw and within their original shell, the eggs are able to be consumed at a longer shelf life of up to 120 days. Testing of the product has found that the smoking process eliminates bacterial growth and essentially stops the ageing process of the eggs.
“Our method of chilled smoking eggs by combining time, temperature, humidity and volume of smoke has meant that our smoked eggs indicate no bacteria at 35 weeks of age and are as fresh and nutritious as they day they were laid,” Julie says.
Because the eggs are cold-smoked, rather than pasteurised, the protein in the eggs isn’t broken down and the eggs are not watery, meaning that you can cook fluffy smoked egg omelettes, quiches or anything else that takes your fancy.
“The best thing is smoked egg ice cream,” Julie says. “It’s amazing. And I love smoked lemon curd and smoked meringues. We also do a beautiful smoked mayonnaise, and smoked Hollandaise sauce is great.”
While Julie and Paul have 5000 laying hens at their free range farm, they don’t use their own eggs for smoking. But this is only due to loyalty to their original customer base.
“Our customers have supported us for 15 years and I don’t think it’s fair that, just because we have another idea, we use those eggs,” Julie says. “They’re creamy and very different, and the smoke would mask the creaminess of our eggs. So we buy in the eggs for smoking.”
The Smoked Egg Company has already garnered interest within the restaurant industry, with chefs eager to try the uniquely-flavoured product.
Melbourne restaurateur and founder and creator of the Gradi Group Johnny Di Francesco is a big fan. The award-winning chef says the Smoked Egg has changed the way he cooks in his 14 restaurants throughout Australia and the world.
“Their beautiful smoky flavour lights up the kitchen,” he says. “I use it in many of our signature dishes such as my creamy carbonara, and even at home with the family for my quick and easy chilli scrambled eggs or my new favourite – the smoked egg burger!”
To find out more, including where to buy, head to smokedeggs.com