CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Purple Onion at Capitol Market, known for its fruits and vegetables, is also a great source for fresh, local eggs.
"We sell a lot of eggs at Easter and Christmas but sell them consistently all year long," said Allan Hathaway, who owns the produce store. "The amount we stock varies. We rarely have eggs left over."
On a recent day, he had cartons of white Amish eggs from Winesburg, Ohio, and brown eggs from Phillip Lucas in West Hamlin.
Throughout the year, he purchases eggs from farmers in the counties of Monroe, Kanawha, Lincoln, Putnam, and Cabell. The supplier depends upon whose chickens are laying well at the moment.
"They are packed fresh that morning and I pick them up," he said. "The farmers call me and I meet them halfway at 6:30 a.m. That is farm to table, the big push now."
It's hard to beat the flavor of a fresh egg from a happy chicken, he said.
"What you feed them affects the flavor," he said. "You want a free-range chicken that runs around eating bugs. Chickens are great. They keep the bugs away. When they run free and eat what they should, the eggs are richer with a more true flavor."
He said cooks swear by brown eggs with dark orange yolks. Browns are also great for coloring during the Easter season.
"I grew up on brown eggs," he said.
He notes that his dad raises Araucanas, a breed that lays blue or green eggs.
"They have a deep yolk that is really rich," he said.
While his father raises chickens as only a hobby, Hathaway expects to purchase green eggs from one of his suppliers in a couple of weeks.
So, it is possible to have green eggs and ham as Dr. Seuss wrote.
He said the color of the egg depends upon the breed of chicken and not what it eats.