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Tue Oct 21 00:49:52 SAST 2014

Let's egg on grocers to get cracking on freshness

Andrea Burgener | 06 February, 2013 00:19

Andre Burgener has been immersed in all things food since she took over the making of the family's lunch box sandwiches aged eight (her mom could make a mean creme brulee and a staggering souffle, but could never butter the bread all the way to the edges.

EGGS UNWRAPPED

I'M JUST sick of buying old eggs. We urbanites don't even know what a fresh egg is like any more, and that's why the supermarkets get away with shoving those ancient orbs at us.

When even the eggs that I buy from the supermarket chain going as swankiest and best in the land are regularly long past their best, I feel very cross. Especially when I use them a week before the "sell by" date. How can you tell the difference between a fresh egg and an old one? (and I mean fresh by modern city standards, which are pretty low anyway).

Fresh: yolk stands firm and well proud of the white when you break the egg into pan or plate, and stays intact under some manhandling. Stale: yolk is flatter and spreads out (it may even start leaking into the white if you stare at it too hard). Fresh: the white is almost gelatinous, and most of it forms a thick higher ring around the yolk when on plate. Stale: white is runnier and spreads, with no thicker mound around the yolk.

Making a perfect fried egg, or separating eggs into yolk and white for baking, is enormously irritating with these old-timers.

If anyone knows a source of super-fresh, free-range or organic eggs, I'd be ecstatic to hear about it. In the meantime, please support me in complaining loudly about the matter.

SABABA

This is a small secret spot at the top of Bree Street in Cape Town's city bowl. Not much could be nicer than sitting at a tiny wobbly table on the pavement eating its wonderful Middle Eastern breakfast spread: brilliant roasted mushrooms, a herby frittata type thing, leafy salad, roasted brinjals and more. Heavenly pastries too.

The coffee is not the best in town, but the city seems to be going through a coffee crisis in general - I had three wan cappuccinos and five lacklustre (okay, crap) espressos in three days.

But Sababa I forgive; all else is so good. Check its pretty website: www.sababa.co.za. Visit it at 231 Bree Street or 395 Main Road, Sea Point.

SWEET TALKING

At their summer best, it's a crime not to leave peaches raw and naked, but when they start to wane at season's end, or you have a glut, turn to the classic Italianate trick, peaches amaretti.

Mix up 50g melted butter, 12 crushed amaretti biscuits, 2tb honey, 1tb brown sugar and dash of dessert wine.

Halve and stone 4 peaches and fill with the biscuit crumble. Bake at 180C for 15 to 30 minutes, until peaches are soft and crumble is brown. Eat hot, with ice cream.

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Tue Oct 21 00:49:52 SAST 2014 ::