What are Green Eggs?

wiseGEEK Writer

Green eggs to most may conjure up the delightful yet repetitive children’s book Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Many people cite the book as one of their favorite early reading experiences and a few (including this wiseGEEK writer) even remember it as the first book they were able to read entirely. The popularity of the book has led to some creative cooks producing various forms of green eggs and green ham.

Spinach, which can be used to make green eggs.
Spinach, which can be used to make green eggs.

The simplest method for producing eggs that are green is by adding a dab of food coloring. This is easiest to accomplish when the eggs are scrambled or made into things like omelets or frittatas. Quiches can even be green with a little food coloring.

Green Eggs and Ham is a popular children's book written by Dr. Seuss.
Green Eggs and Ham is a popular children's book written by Dr. Seuss.

An alternate way to make green eggs is by scrambling them or combining with other green foods. For instance spinach added to eggs will give them a predominantly green color, and adds great taste and nutritional value to a dish. For picky eaters who don’t like vegetables, love of Dr. Seuss’s work may be too great of a temptation to pass up on if spinach scrambled eggs are billed as green eggs.

Some restaurants specialize in producing various green fare for customers, especially for kids, but adults may love eating eggs that are green too. This isn’t always the case and some people feel that elaborately green food, especially via the food coloring method, is not particularly appetizing. Still, there are many guests who love having variety in food presentation and wouldn’t have their green eggs any other color.

One place people are not likely to find eggs that are green is in the shell, though it is possible to inject dye into an egg. Naturally produced green eggs are usually not found. However, in 2008, one hen named Rabanita in Mexico caused a stir when she began to lay eggs that had green shells. Eggshell colors of green and blue are common in many birds and apparently also relatively common in South America among chickens of a certain type, called Aracaunas. In South America, there are breeders of these chickens who specialize in raising Aracaunas that only lay green and blue eggs.

Another eggshell coloring that’s greatly surprising to many is the deep dark red shell that may be produced by Marans and Penedesenca chickens. These eggs aren’t confused with brown eggs, because they both have a remarkable crimson color that is considered very desirable in certain parts of the world. Variation in shell color though doesn’t greatly change components of the egg, though there may be small differences in levels of protein in eggs produced that have unusual shell colors.

Food coloring may be added to an egg to make green eggs.
Food coloring may be added to an egg to make green eggs.

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Discussion Comments


Our chicken, which my son rescued from a dog attack and subsequently nurtured back to health, has been laying very large, beautiful green shelled eggs every day for three months now. Inside they are white and the yolk is dark yellow. The shells are quite thick.


I miss when kids books like Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham were more popular. Now they're made into bad movie versions, like happened to The Cat in The Hat, and books like Twilight are all anyone from age 8 to 28 wants to read. Alas.


After I read Dr. Seuss, green eggs seemed like such an excellent idea. I was sad to find out they didn't occur naturally.

However, you can cook eggs with things like spinach or basil to have a green effect; another way to eat them to have "green" eggs is to top them with pesto, if you want a sort of "Italian" taste, or with guacamole if you want that sort of flavor. No, none of these really cause "green eggs", but you can pretend.

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