You thought Greeks dye Easter eggs red? You might be right. Partially. Because no matter what color Greeks dye Easter eggs, some hens decided to break with the tradition. The eggs they laid on Holy Tuesday are green.
The hens of a farmer in Lefkakia, Nafplion, laid their green eggs on Aprli 11th, just two days before Greek housewives traditionally dye red the eggs for Easter.
Apparently the farmer took the pale green eggs to the village market to sell them.
In zero time, the chicken coop turned into a local attraction. Everybody wanted to take a look at the hens and the special green-shelled eggs.
“There is nothing special about the hens, they don’t differ from other chickens,” farmer Aris Tsirikos told local media. “Neither the eggs taste differently. They have the usual taste and they also reduce cholesterol,” the farmer stressed.
Local news website parapolitikaargolidos notes that the color of the egg shell depends on the breed of the hen. It is the breed Araucana that lays green-shelled eggs.
The website did not confirm thought whether the lovely but rebel chicken of farmer Aris are of Araucana breed.
These are Araucana eggs from Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, US.
In the wonderful world of internet one can find amazing things also for the Araucana breed and its green eggs.
The Araucana is a breed of domestic chicken from Chile, a region to which it owes its name. Araucanía. It lays blue-shelled eggs, one of very few breeds that do so.
Araucana hen and rooster
Breed standards for the Araucana vary from country to country. It may have unusual tufts of feathers on the ears, and may be rumpless, without a tail and tail-bone.
There is also the Ameraucana breed and “Easter Egger” hybrids of the United States, which also lay blue or green eggs, both derive from the Araucana.
The blue egg of the Araucana was at this time thought to be unique among chickens. In 1933 Reginald Punnett showed that the blue egg gene in chickens is dominant with respect to white, while in combination with genes for brown eggs, various shades of green and olive are produced.
In modern times, the Ameraucana breed, also lays blue eggs, while hybrid birds carrying the dominant oocyan gene may in the United States be called “Easter Eggers”.
Of course, there are several theories as to why the eggs are blue.
“Several theories have been advanced to explain the origin of the blue egg characteristic. It has been variously attributed to hybridisation with a species of tinamou bird to genetic mutation and to the action of a retrovirus soon after the domestication of the chicken.”
Another, general theory about the color of the egg shells say that:
Leghorn chickens lay white eggs while Orpington’s lay brown eggs and Ameraucana produce blue eggs. An Olive Egger, a chicken that lays olive green eggs, is the product of a cross between a hen and rooster that are from a brown egg and a blue egg laying breed.
There is no difference in there is no difference in terms of edibility, health, or nutrition in different-colored egg shells.
PS sadly there is no chicken breed to lay directly shiny red eggs we eat at Easter.