There has been some media excitement over a suggestion that eggs could be sold by weight. MetricViews asked its cookery correspondent for a quick comment, and this is what she said:
“I suspect that all that may change is the lettering on the box; there will still be 6 and 12 eggs (or 9/10/18 etc) with a minimum weight declared on the front.
In my thirty-five year career as a food and cookery writer, I recall going through three changes of egg sizing.
First, we had large, medium and small, bantams, etc.
Then we went to sizes – remember those? 1-2 were large, 3-4 medium and 5-6 small. That wasn’t satisfactory either and then some ten years or so ago, lo and behold, we went back to large, medium and small.
But egg sizes are based on weight.
I did a little weigh-in tonight on my digital scales, so pretty accurate. As it happened (really!), I had a box of six medium eggs and six large eggs from a box left over from the weekend.
The 6 medium eggs weighed as follows: 3 x 64 g, 2 x 62 g and 1 x 66 g – a total weight of 382 g.
The 6 large eggs were 2 x 64 g and 4 x 60 g – a total of 368 g.
In other words, the medium eggs weighed more, and if I were a shopper seeing the weight on the front of the box I would buy those in preference to the more expensive so-called large eggs.
Egg sizes also seem to vary according to the season, the summer tailing off I believe.
Interestingly enough, a dozen is from the French douzaine. They also sell eggs in tens, called a dizaine, I think.
I also weighed a 500 g box of cherry tomatoes = 482 g, and a 250 g pack mushrooms = 256 g.”
For readers who are unfamiliar with this story, MetricViews recommends this summary from the BBC: