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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Farmer's Market Share: Baked Eggs with Tomato and Prosciutto

Posted By on Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 5:00 PM

I first developed egg-brand loyalty while in college in Massachusetts. I religiously purchased eggs from a farm called the Country Hen -- in no small part because the cartons featured little chicken bios, which gave me a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside, like I was checking in with friends down the street.

click to enlarge ALISSA NELSON
  • Alissa Nelson
In St. Louis, it took me a little while to find a producer we liked: Prairie Grass Farms, which has the most transcendent eggs I'd ever eaten. The yolks are orange, and the eggs have a chickeny quality that's hard to put your finger on but undeniably there. I was home. Plus, the farm's whole multi-animal model reminded me of Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm, which was an automatic warm fuzzy interconnected-drum-circle-of-life kind of feeling.

So despite the cost -- the eggs are undeniably more expensive than most -- Prairie Grass eggs became a part of my shopping repertoire. There are some things that I'm willing to spend a little more on, and these are usually products that yield happier, healthier animals.

(To preempt any of the agribusiness trolls who might jump on this, I'll acknowledge that this is a choice I make, but that choice makes me happy. I don't eat a whole ton of animal products, so I feel like the extra expense isn't going to break me.)

There was a sad moment a couple of years ago when Prairie Grass lost a lot of its young chickens, which threatened to completely halt its egg production. Thankfully, the farm made it through that setback and still sends eggs to the city on a regular basis. If you can't find these particular eggs, I also really like River Hills Poultry Alliance eggs, which come from several different farms in Missouri. Like Prairie Grass, these farms feed their chickens vegetarian feed and let them run around and be chickens, which results in some tasty eggs.

Sometime in the past week I decided that I would snag some prosciutto from Volpi. Then I noticed that the last local tomatoes that I would ever find in 2009 were sitting in a bin, and some little earworm reminded me that I should definitely buy all of these things, because I saw a recipe in a blog that would work.

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