"English eggs look and taste very different from American ones. The yolks are more orange and they taste slightly richer. They also taste fresher and more flavorful than your average American factory farm egg. (We're not talking free range, organic eggs, but the kind that come from chickens stacked in tiny cages.)"
That's all correct (though I'd say the difference is more than "slight", and the editor who titled the piece apparently agrees), right up to the parenthetical. Most of us tenaciously hold on to an assumption that farm eggs taste better. It's become a truism, and is never questioned. But the issue is easily examined. And I have. Several times.
If you taste, side-by-side, a lousy convenience mart egg, an organic free-range Whole Foods egg, and a fresh-from-the-farm egg, having scrambled identically in the same pan with the same quantity of salt and oil (not butter, which makes things too distractingly delicious), you'll find that none of the eggs have any flavor at all. If you use butter, all three will taste like butter. The flavor of eggs in America is butter. And butter is good. That's why we love our eggs. Shoot, it even makes popcorn (one step up from styrofoam pellets) delicious!
American eggs have no flavor. Not convenience store eggs, not fancy Whole Foods eggs, and not eggs from rustic friends' pampered roosts (I've sampled at least ten different ones). You may or may not go so far as to judge them flavorlessness. You may detect some flavor (though I'd insist it's oil and salt). But, tasted blindly (using an actual blindfold to eliminate color cues) you will not correctly distinguish the eggs. Try it sometime. It's so easy that I'm surprised food lovers never do.
I first discovered this when a great Spanish chef visiting NYC offered to make me a tortilla (a big round potato omelet). I bought same-day organic eggs directly from a local farmer. But, as is the case with every tortilla I've ever had in America, it tasted like potatoes and oil. Because our eggs have no flavor. They can't stand up to other flavors. In Spain, tortilla is a sublime balance of egg and potato. I wish I was there right now.
Spiegel ascribes the difference to washing and storage. That's not it. I've snatched eggs from under chickens and cracked them warm. Never washed, never stored. And the flavor was a great big (sorry) goose egg.
There's no denying European eggs are more richly flavored. I'd take an ordinary Spanish, French or English egg over a great American one any day. And I'd love to know what the problem is. My guess is that it must be varietal.