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Egg Glossary

While ordinary white chicken eggs make a terrific blank canvas for all sorts of decorating projects, we like to experiment with different types. 

Photography by: Emily Kate Roemer

Eggs come in unusual colors and a variety of sizes –– it's fun to combine them for suprising displays. All eggs benefit from being wiped with vinegar before being dyed (it makes them take the color more evenly), but this step is crucial with some specialty eggs. Many types of eggs can be found at gourmet food stores or ordered, already blown-out and sanitized, from specialty suppliers such as NakedEggs. Here's a rundown:

Brown Chicken Eggs

These are identical to white chicken eggs but have brown shells; when immersed in dyes, they take on darker colors. Add them to the mix for a wider range of colored eggs. 

Araucana Eggs

Eggs from Araucana chickens, like the ones Martha raises, have naturally pastel-hued shells –– no dyeing required. These make a great starting point for projects that involve embellishing eggs rather than dyeing them. 

Duck and Goose Eggs

These eggs are large (duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs, goose eggs larger still) and have smooth white shells. In both cases, the shells are thicker than those of chicken eggs; wiping the surface with a paper towel dipped in white vinegar before dyeing, then immersing them in an extra-strong dye bath (add an extra tablespoon vinegar and a few additional drops food coloring to the basic recipe) will help the color penetrate. 

Quail Eggs

On the opposite end of the size spectrum are quail eggs. Tiny and dappled, these eggs make for dainty decorations.