The egg is one of the most basic staples in the American diet.
You’ve probably cracked one open over a frying pan for breakfast or whisked a few into flour to make a birthday cake.
But no matter how many times you’ve handled a raw egg, one thing has left you, at the very least, mildly perplexed: What the heck is that white, gooey, ropey thing that’s hanging onto the yolk?
It’s time you met the chalaza.
Despite their weird appearance, the chalazae (plural) are not a sign that your egg is defected or partially cooked or anything like that. They can be found on two sides of the yolk and they’re actually there to keep the yolk in place – like little anchors.
The chalazae are also completely edible, so removing them is unnecessary. In most cases it doesn’t break down during the baking process, so yes, you could bite into it. In fact, seeing those stringy cords clearly is a sign that you’re looking at a fresh egg.
As the egg ages, the chalazae disappear, so if you can’t spot at least one after cracking an egg open, chances are the egg has been sitting at the store for a while.