More than 1.5 million ‘pullet’ eggs from young hens are scrapped every year. Now you can buy four for £1.99
When my sister Lucy was a toddler, she would happily eat six fried eggs in one sitting. She didn’t have an enormous appetite – she was, and still is at 19, a tiny creature – rather, she had a taste for little eggs.
On holiday one summer, she’d encountered a quail, and its owner gave my parents some of its eggs. My miniature sister happily scoffed her clutch of dinky eggs, despite being a fussy eater, and so if ever quails’ eggs were spotted at the supermarket, they were snapped up and fed to her. Many cute photographs of the little princess eating her small but perfectly formed eggs followed. No wonder she’s a monster now…
She was on to something, though, because mini eggs are all the rage, with pullet eggs newly on sale at Waitrose. Pullet eggs come from hens that are less than a year old and are a third the size of “normal” eggs from grown-up chickens.
Until now, they have been either scrapped because they’re too tiny to sell to supermarkets, which have a strict policy on size, or used up by farmers, not least because they make up on average 10 per cent of their yield. In a bid to beat food waste – more than 1.5 million of them have been scrapped each year – and to make Waitrose money, obvs, the Clarence Court Pullet Eggs will be available at 79 Waitrose & Partners shops where they can be bought for £1.99 for four.
Tiny eggs but a hefty price
Zoe Simons, development chef at Waitrose & Partners, said: “Pullet eggs are a chef’s dream especially when it comes to pastry.
“Thanks to their smaller nature they hold their shape a lot better which makes them ideal for poaching. The yolks have a wonderful deep colour and rich flavour, making them perfect for mayonnaise or pastry such as a lemon tart or crème brûlée.”
I salute Waitrose for coming up with a cracking idea to save the eggs from being binned (if at a price that’s rocketed them into the luxury end of the market), as well as offering eggs in fours rather than sixes. I can’t be the only one who lives alone and – I’m sorry about this – quails at how I’m going to use up half-a-dozen eggs before they go off.
And I look forward to seeing the photos of a new generation of spoiled children feasting on hilariously sized breakfasts.