What's That Weird, White String Inside A Raw Egg? Behold, The Chalaza

It might look gross, but that twisted cord is actually a good sign. 🐣

03/03/2016 2:17 AM AEDT | Updated 03/03/2016 2:17 AM AEDT

The egg: One of the most basic staples in the American diet.

You've probably cracked one open over a frying pan for breakfast, whisked a few into flour to make a birthday cake, or maybe you've gone full-on Rocky and chugged those babies raw.

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. (Pronounced: cuh-lay-zuh.)

Relax. Despite its weird ropey appearance, it is not an umbilical cord. 

The chalazae (plural) can be found on two sides of the yolk and their main purpose is to hold the yolk at the center of the egg -- like little anchors. 

Because the cords, which are a special form of protein, are connected to both the lining of the eggshell and the yolk, they are usually most noticeable when separating egg whites -- and they can sometimes make the task a bit challenging. 

The chalazae are also completely edible, so removing them is unnecessary. In fact, seeing those stringy cords clearly is a sign that you're looking at a fresh egg.

An egg's chalazae disappear as the egg ages, so if you can't find at least one after cracking an egg open, chances are the egg has been sitting at the store (or in your refrigerator) for a while.

So now that you know what to look for in terms of freshness, you might want to whip up one of the 38 delicious egg recipes below -- before those ever-important chalazae disappear. 

Do you want to be more mindful about eating healthy foods that’ll keep your mind and body at their best? Sign up for our newsletter and join our Eat Well, Feel Great challenge to learn how to fuel your body in the healthiest way possible. We’ll deliver tips, challenges and advice to your inbox every day. 

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