Q: What do eggs and potatoes have in common?
At Simon George & Sons we like to work closely with our clients, listen to their needs and then shape our service accordingly. So this week, I thought I would take the opportunity to answer our most frequently asked questions about produce. It is interesting that some of the more ‘commonplace’ produce on our quote tends to generate the most questions, for example one of the most FAQ of our team relates to the classification of eggs (what do they mean and how should they affect my purchasing decisions?). Meanwhile, the #1 most searched product on our blog (by a long way) is the humble potato – with people wanting to know what varieties are out there and how to use them. I have done my best to answer these questions below, should you have any products or produce trends that you would like to see featured on the blog, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
EGGS: Simon George & Sons is HACCP accredited for the storage and distribution of eggs
Purchasing eggs has become much more difficult. With no centralized classification system, egg producers can be accredited by one of any number of different associations, each with very different requirements to achieve accreditation. So what do these mean?
ORGANIC: organic and humane
Buying organic states that the eggs have been produced on a certified ‘organic’ farm by chickens who have been fed only certified organic feed/grain and treated humanely (roam free, outdoor access, no beak-trimming or wing-clipping).
Simon George & Sons stock 60gm organic eggs
FREE-RANGE: access to outdoor areas
There has been some controversy surrounding ‘free-range eggs’ of late, with the lack of a formal definition coming under fire. The number of hens per m² can vary hugely from farm to farm, however 90% of free-range egg producers in Australia are accredited by the Egg Corporation of Australia, which allow farmers to keep an equivalent of 2 hens/m². Free-range hens are housed in sheds but must have access to outdoor area.
Simon George & Sons stock 70gm free-range eggs
Barn-laid is an alternative system to Free-Range farming- the chickens do not have outdoor access but roam freely around a multi-tiered barn that accommodates fundamental needs such as dust-bathing, scratching, enclosed nest boxes. Density of the hens in the barn varies per farmer and accreditation.
Simon George & Sons stock 60 & 70 gm barn-laid eggs from Llandilo farm
Simon George & Sons sells caged eggs in 50, 60 and 70 gram sizes, these can be supplied in tray pack or carton.
There are hundreds of potatoes on the markets and with more varieties being developed all the time, the question seems to be- which should you use for what? Below is a list of the most common commercial potato varieties, their classification i.e. waxy vs floury and recommended use.
Waxy: low starch (16-18%) and high moisture content
Best for salads, stews, soups or anything where you want the potato to hold shape
Patrone – the salad potato
Pink Fir Apple
Purple Congo – avoid roasting
All-rounders: Are neither waxy nor floury
Lend themselves to a variety of cooking methods
Desiree – avoid frying
Kennebec – chip
Toolangi delight – gnocchi
Floury: high starch (20-22%) and low moisture content
Release starch when boiled or fried, best for roasting, baking (in skins) and mashing. If you want to make chips or use them in a salad, soak first.
King Edward – mash
A: They come alive when you add fresh truffles!
While fresh black truffles are as expensive as they are delicious, they also add a whole new dimension to potato and egg dishes. Simon George & Sons has fresh Black truffles available, with extra class, first class and pieces selling by the gram. With the WA season up and running , the first of the NSW truffles being dug up this week and Tasmanian truffles yet to come -we are looking at a harvest to remember.
Eggs: add unique character to egg dishes without using a single gram. Grab a large glass jar and place a bed of rice at the bottom. Layer your eggs, truffles (wrapped in absorbent paper) and finally a knob of butter on top of the rice. Close the jar and refrigerate for 48 hours, after which the egg, rice and butter will all be infused with the unique truffle aroma.
Potatoes: with your truffle still whole and ready to use, why not add that gourmet touch to your potatoes and finely slice or shave fresh black truffle through a rich, creamy mash.