The egg: One of the most basic staples in the American diet.
You've probably cracked one open over a frying pan for breakfast, whisked a few into flour to make a birthday cake, or maybe you've gone full-on Rocky and chugged those babies raw.
But no matter how many times you've handled a raw egg, one thing has left you, at the very least, mildly perplexed: What the heck is that white, gooey, ropey thing that's hanging onto the yolk?
It's time you met the chalaza. (Pronounced: cuh-lay-zuh.)
Relax. Despite its weird ropey appearance, it is not an umbilical cord.
The chalazae (plural) can be found on two sides of the yolk and their main purpose is to hold the yolk at the center of the egg -- like little anchors.
Because the cords, which are a special form of protein, are connected to both the lining of the eggshell and the yolk, they are usually most noticeable when separating egg whites -- and they can sometimes make the task a bit challenging.
The chalazae are also completely edible, so removing them is unnecessary. In fact, seeing those stringy cords clearly is a sign that you’re looking at a fresh egg.
An egg’s chalazae disappear as the egg ages, so if you can’t find at least one after cracking an egg open, chances are the egg has been sitting at the store (or in your refrigerator) for a while.
So now that you know what to look for in terms of freshness, you might want to whip up some delicious eggs. Here are our favorite tools to get the job done:
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A rapid egg cooker with tons of five-star-ratings
This electric egg cooker from Dash has an impressive 83,820 five-star ratings on Amazon and can consistently prepare eggs in any style at the touch of a button. It has a six-egg capacity and also includes a recipe book, tray for poaching and a tray for omelet-making.
A hard-boiled egg peeler
Nobody has the time on busy mornings to sit and meticulously peel the shell off their hard-boiled eggs. This handy egg-peeling capsule does the work for you. All it takes is just a little water and a few gentle shakes to remove both the shell and the membrane –– without leaving any of those annoying pockmarks on your egg.
A microwavable omelet pan
This low-effort pan allows you to create a customizable omelet in just a few short minutes. Simply dump the makings of your favorite omelet into this dishwasher-safe container, pop it in the microwave and enjoy.
A two-sided omelet and frittata griddle
Instantly make fluffy omelets or frittatas chock-full of your favorite ingredients, all in a matter of minutes with this easy-to-clean non-stick griddle. The preheating function ensures that your eggs cook at the perfect temperature every time, allowing you to walk away while your breakfast cooks.
An electric breakfast sandwich maker
Hamilton Beach's electric sandwich maker promises you a fresh and custom-made breakfast sandwich in just four easy steps and all with one appliance. Each non-stick cooking layer is removable and dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup and allows you to prepare an egg directly in a designated egg pan.
A pair of foolproof silicone egg poachers
Making the perfect poached egg can be a difficult and messy process that requires some major babysitting on your end. These dishwasher-safe silicone egg poachers quickly and easily streamline this process by mimicking the traditional water bath method. The hole-patterned design keeps the entire egg contained while cooking and makes removal simple and mess-free. The containers easily collapse for compact storage.
A compact microwave egg cooker
Using the power of steam, this best-selling compact egg cooker allows you to prepare scrambles, poached eggs and more all inside your microwave, without causing a splatter mess. It's made with BPA-free plastic that's also dishwasher-, fridge- and freezer- safe.
A sous vide-style egg bite maker
Rapidly prepare fluffy and portable egg bites filled with the ingredients of your choice with this compact appliance. It features four easy-to-clean silicone egg molds and one larger egg mold for omelets or breakfast sandwiches.
An in-water timer for perfectly boiled eggs every time
This clever in-water egg timer helps take the guesswork out of boiling an egg to the doneness of your choice. Just place it inside the water with your eggs and watch the easy-to-read meter accurately indicate their internal consistency.