Sue Green cracks eggs for a living.
She scrambles them, fries them, poaches them, boils them, bastes them, fluffs them up and folds them around veggies and ham to make omelets.
The owner of Tina’s Cafe cracked her first eggs when she was 2 — driving the chickens crazy in the hen house at her parents’ farm. For the past 25 years, she’s been turning eggs into breakfast, served with a side of bacon and hash browns.
She goes through about 15 dozen Grade A Extra Larges a day, six days a week, even more on Saturdays at the tiny café on South Street.
She’s cracked more eggs than Emeril, about 1,350,000, give or take.
And Thursday she cracked another. Then she stepped back and stared.
“It was like, ‘Whoa, what is this?’”
What it was — Google told her — was an “egg within an egg” or “ovum in ovo.”
It’s rare, said Lancaster County extension assistant for 4-H Cole Meador, although there are no statistics that say exactly (eggsactly) how rare.
And it’s caused by something called counter-peristalsis contraction.
“Basically, it’s when an egg is being formed and it gets pushed back in the channel and another egg forms around it.”
According to the New Science blog, no one is sure what causes the first egg to turn back. (Perhaps it doesn’t want to end up in a breakfast scramble?)
Meador, who raises chickens and ducks, has seen it, but just once.
At Tina’s Cafe, the tiny egg inside the extra large egg is about the size of a large gumball. The shell is rubbery. Presumably, another yolk and albumen are inside -- although Green hasn’t cracked it yet.
For now, the woman who has seen her share of double-yolk eggs and weird-shaped spuds is content to keep the mutant egg on a plate in the cooler and show it off to customers.
“I’m still debating what to do with it,” she says, taking a break from putting up orders. “Put it in the Egg Museum?”