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Virginia farmers roll out eggs for spring traditions

(© elladoro –

With Passover and Easter coming up, it’s time to think about holiday meals featuring Virginia-produced eggs.

Eggs are easily recognizable symbols for both holidays.

“Passover is all about getting together with family, sitting elbow-to-elbow around a huge table and enjoying the Passover Seder,” said Mary Rapoport, consumer affairs and educational director for the Virginia Egg Council. “Of course, with Easter, it’s all about dying eggs, Easter egg rolls and doing all those things.”

Fortunately for holiday participants, Virginia’s egg producers are determined to meet the demands of these egg-centric holiday celebrations. Working months in advance, farmers raise an increased number of young birds to bring plenty of eggs to the market for the major buying period.

“It takes a couple of months before the hens start to lay eggs,” Rapoport explained. “When it’s several weeks before Easter and Passover, [farmers] will have a huge supply—their biggest supply of the year other than during the winter holidays—for Easter egg hunts and lots of hardboiled eggs.”

While traditionally heavy on symbolism, eggs also have their place on the plates of holiday meals. A Seder meal typically includes a charred or hardboiled egg, and while there isn’t a traditional Easter equivalent, there is no shortage of egg-based dishes.

The Virginia Egg Council offers a variety of recipes on its website, and Rapoport suggested serving Southern favorites like deviled eggs or potato salad with chopped egg at an Easter gathering.

“People use eggs in their shells to decorate their tables for Easter, but my suggestion is that if you’re using them as a centerpiece, don’t leave them out for more than two hours,” she said. “Then, you can use them in egg salad, as a filling for sandwiches or a dip for crackers.”