What is the white part of the egg called? Chalaza?!
Ever discovered those two white part of an egg, stringy cords drifting around in a freshly cracked egg?
You’re totally grossed out by these, and the words “sperm,” “embryo” or “umbilical cord” might have crossed your mind a couple of times upon coming across these thick, ropey hairs of egg white that are typically connected to an egg yolk. Relax. They’re the chalaza, and they’re not an indication that your egg is defected or partially cooked or anything like that. Even opposite – the more prominent the chalazae, the fresher the egg.
Chalazae are neither imperfections nor beginning embryos. They’re in fact there to keep the yolk in place. Ropey strands of egg white which anchor the yolk in place in the center of the thick white. The chalazae’s only function is to anchor the egg yolk to the center of the egg. Keep in mind, the eggs we consume are not fertilized, and chickens are not mammals, therefore no umbilical cord, sperm or embryos, my friends.
Chalaza definition: the word “chalaza or chalazae” is from Greek “hailstone”
It connects or suspends the yolk or nucellus within the larger structure
In the eggs of the majority of birds as well as reptiles, the chalazae are 2 spiral bands of tissue that suspend the yolk in the center of the white (the albumen) and connect to opposite ends of the lining membrane. The function of the chalazae is to hold the yolk in place. For cooking usage of eggs, especially in baking, the chalazae are in some cases removed in order to make sure a consistent texture. Chalazae do not hinder the cooking or beating of the white, and you do not have to remove them, although some cooks prefer to strain them from stirred custard.
Growing up, my mama taught me to take a fork and remove them from the egg prior to baking. She reasoned that the chalaza might solidify while baking, resulting in an occasional — and undesirable — chewy particle in your baked goods. Now, I cannot cook anything involving eggs without removing them.
Nevertheless, as I’ve grown up, I’ve observed that a lot of cooks simply split eggs straight into batters without even pointing out the dreaded chalaza. Did these insane culinary-school graduates know absolutely nothing?! Were they too hectic flashing their pearly white teeth on camera that they didn’t observe?! How might they commit such insanity?!
More prominent the chalaza, the fresher the egg!
There’s even a beneficial element to the chalazae: the larger it is, the fresher the egg. As soon as cooked, they vanish and have no impact on recipes, with the exception of custards, which generally require straining to eliminate them in order to accomplish an entirely smooth texture.