Thursday, 25 August 2011

Double-yolk eggs: folklore and superstition

When I was cooking egg and chips for me and my partner the other day, not one but two of the eggs I cracked into the frying pan had double yolks!

I was very surprised - I can't remember the last time I found even one double-yolker. I photographed them, as I wasn't sure anyone would believe me without photographic evidence. You can see them in the pan along with a single-yolk egg, although one of the double yolks broke as it was cooking.

After I'd eaten my lunch - and it was scrummy - I did some research to find out what a double-yolk egg means in folklore and superstition.

I'd assumed a double yolker would be a sign of good luck and prosperity but some initial reading and web browsing came up with conflicting information. Some people even suggested that it would mean a death in the family. Others said a marriage was impending or that I would soon become pregnant - perhaps with twins!

According to The Encyclopedia of Superstitionsby Richard Webster: "Double-yolked eggs are believed to be a sign of good luck. (However, in some parts of Britain a double-yolked egg is a warning of death.)"

Baby Lore - Superstitions and Old Wives Tales from the World Over Re: Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhoodby Rosalind Franklin says that according to Romany Gypsy folklore: "Finding a double yolk in an egg means someone in the immediate family is pregnant. If the woman already knows she is pregnant, it means she will have twins."

Well, being an optimist I am more inclined to believe in happy predictions than omens of doom. As I am already married myself, and not planning to start a family, I'm hoping my double-yolk eggs mean good luck is coming my way, perhaps along with the news that one of my younger relatives is engaged to be married or expecting a new - and wanted - arrival.

The Encyclopedia of Superstitionswent on to explain the science behind double-yolked eggs: "Approximately one egg in every thousand is double-yolked. These are produced by hens who have just started laying eggs (as their reproductive cycle is still working out how to perform the task correctly), or by hens who ovulate too quickly."

In case you are interested, the eggs were large free range eggs from The Happy Egg Co. I wonder if happy eggs are more likely to have double yolks than those produced by miserable hens in factory farms?

Links and previous related posts
The Encyclopedia of Superstitions
Baby Lore - Superstitions and Old Wives Tales from the World Over Re: Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood
http://www.netmums.com/coffeehouse/general-coffeehouse-chat-514/coffee-lounge-18/170237-double-yolk-eggs-superstition.html
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=1006032917586
http://chasingjamesbeard.com/?p=827
http://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/Superstitions.htm
http://listverse.com/2009/03/25/10-odd-superstitions-about-food/

25 comments:

Bibliogirl said...

One egg in a thousand? Hmm. I had one box of eggs earlier this year -- also from Happy Egg, now that I think about it -- which was at least five out of six double-yolks; it may even have been all six ;)

James C. Wallace II said...

All it really means is that the yolks on you! LOL!!

Gemma said...

I had to post ! I just had two double yolkers (making gingerbread men) in small eggs by the happy egg co too !
Maybe happy chickens make bigger eggs lol !

Rowan Dragonstorm said...

The other half and myself had some fried eggs for dinner last night - he cracked 4 into the pan, all of which were double yolkers!! (I wish I'd been as smart as you and taken pictures though....

These were free range, and Morrisons brand. Like you, I wonder if free range eggs are more likely to be doubles than battery farmed aggs.......

Anonymous said...

It's East Sunday 2012, and I was deviling eggs this morning. Cut into one and it was a double yolk. I immediately recalled someone telling me it is good luck. I better not be pregnant, since my husband has been snipped! I took a picture and posted it to Facebook. Several of my friends said indeed it means good luck.

Willow said...

I'm a pagan from the USA and had to look this up because I have found THREE double yolks out of the same carton! I can't believe it! We're not even half-way through the lot yet either!

Nadia Smallwood said...

Just cooking my lunch today, cracked two eggs both with double yolks... Also free range organic eggs.

I've never gotten one before let alone two so thought I'd do a little reading before I carried on with my lunch. Like yourself I'm going to take the omen sunny side up! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I just got 5 double yolk eggs out of 6 - when I got the first one I couldn't believe it and them when I continued to crack the others I was getting more and more spooked! - I took a photo and put it on my Facebook page! Could do with some good luck right now so fingers crossed! I'm married but don't think I'm pregnant, off to the pharmacy for a test kit. My eggs were Morrison brand free range box of 6

Anonymous said...

Okay...had a double yolker this morning and now I am a mess! The last time I had double yolkers was last November and I had 3 in one carton...I immediately found out a close friend (WHO DID NOT WANT CHILDREN) was pregnant, I had to pull dead puppies out of my neighbors dachsund and the son I gave up for adoption found me...all of this happened immediately after the eggs and on consecutive days...oh my...

badwitch said...

They say things come in runs of three - so seeing as you had three bits of bad luck last time you had double-yolkers, I reckon you are due three bits of good luck this time.

Mulled Red said...

I live in Saudi Arabia and we buy eggs that are all double yolkers consistently and they are always avaiable. The chickens that we buy to eat here are smaller than in the UK so mabe it is because all of the hens are young layers, I wouldn't imagine that they are free range here.

Skrits said...

I just got 7 double yolks in a row, also from free range chickens. I do believe that happy chickens make double yolk eggs. At least, it's nice to think that.

Anonymous said...

For breakfast this morning I had my typical egg on a piece of toast. The egg was laid yesterday, on my 30th birthday, by one of my free range hens. It was also a double-yolker...

Anonymous said...

My history with double-yolks eggs is ...crack one, then (within hours or days) lose my job. Perhaps a blessing? Good luck? Hard to say, given my most recent double-yolk was end of last week, and I am unemployed as of today. Ha!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, to all, who've shared their perspectives!

Anonymous said...

I crack 5 egg of yolks last year and we never had twins in my family before but it happens after 10s of years to my cousin sister i dont believe in bad lucks and even if its badluck i do believ after the dark night comes day light so after the badluck comes a very big goodluck. Dis morning i crack one with double yolk dis time i wish i would be the one with twins yea is me Thank to God

Leslie said...

We once had 12 out of 12 double-yolkers! I felt
like I'd entered the Twilight Zone. They were from Trader Joe's here in Los Angeles - Organic, Jumbo,
Free-Range. We rarely get even one, so all 12 in
one box!!!???

Anonymous said...

I actually started searching double yolked eggs because I found one three days ago and I got curious. Im sure people will think Im lieing but my Uncle died today. So yea...

Pamela Chapman said...

Last year, we moved across the U.S. to my grandparents' home (they both passed away in 2010). My two older daughters from a previous marriage came with us to hang out for a few weeks and then head back to their dad's house. I bought a dozen eggs at the store and they ALL turned out to be double yolked! I continued to buy that brand and didn't have any more double yolks again. My daughters came back for a visit this year and when I opened a new crate of a dozen eggs...they were, once again, ALL double yolks!

Beryl Williams said...

I too have cracked double yolks not once but twice this week alone I couldn't believe it twice in the same week,
So I took it as good luck is coming my way as I am already 28 weeks pregnant and married. :)
B.Williams.

Beryl Williams said...

I too has just cracked a double yolk not once but twice this week alone. I could not believe it, so I took as maybe some good luck is coming my way as I am already 28 weeks pregnant and married,
Fingers crossed it isn't bad luck.
:)

Anonymous said...

just had a double yolk egg this morning and tonight won 49 quid.whopee.

Anonymous said...

5 double yolks this morning. I know that my farmer has new hens; hence the scientific explanation of regulating the cycle of a young hen. I surely will keep an eye out for that good luck though!

Anonymous said...

I just lost my second pregnancy in 20 months both were boys and both still born, this morning we found a double yolker - the first I ever have had, a lucky black tiny spider on my other halfs ear and got three four leaf clovers in the post from a friend in the USA, all in the space of an hour. I am praying and hoping it is a good omen for a pregnancy that will result in a healthy baby, blessings

Anonymous said...

I'm in France and come across double yolk egg every two to three years, then this evening I had three in a row, out of a carton of 6 and I haven't touched the other three...I will keep you posted should they be equally enriched.