“Red eggs,” says Andrew Hitchings, using the Japanese term for brown eggs, “are better quality than white.”

Hitchings, a 46-year-old New Zealander who helps run a chicken farm in Gifu Prefecture, says the secret lies in the formula of the farm’s chicken feed. Exactly how the mixture is blended at the Katsumata Tamago, a family farm near the city of Mizunami in the southeastern part of the prefecture, is a known only to the patriarch of the enterprise, Hitchings’ father-in-law, Tokio Katsumata, and his two sons.

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