Tasty Tuesday: Let’s talk Duck Eggs

We need to talk about duck eggs today. Several years ago I discovered duck eggs and I’ve been on the lookout for them at farmers’ markets every since.

Duck Eggs are much bigger than Chicken Eggs

Larger Duck Egg is on the right.

Duck eggs make a huge difference in baking at high altitude

The duck egg on the left has a significantly larger yolk than the chicken egg on the right.

Now is the time to experience the difference a duck egg can make in your baking because it’s easy to find them for sale.

First, duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs. Their yolks have a higher fat content (many people use the word “silkier” when describing the texture difference when you bake or cook with duck eggs) and a higher water content. They also have a larger yolk, percentage-wise, than chicken eggs do.

The shell and membrane of a duck egg is a little sturdier than that of a chicken. (This increases their refrigerated shelf life!) You’ll also notice that the egg white is a little more viscous than that of a chicken egg. You might even need to scoop the egg out of the shell with a spoon.

I first played around with duck eggs when I lived in Colorado at an elevation of close to 7000 feet. I really had to work hard to get baked goods to turn out right at that altitude. Using duck eggs in my brownie recipe made all the difference. Those duck eggs stabilized the batter and gave me perfect brownies; I didn’t make any other altitude adjustments. At this point, I live right on the edge of needing to adjust for altitude. Most of the time I don’t need to make adjustments but if I find that I do, duck eggs will do it for me.

Usually the yolks of duck eggs are a deep yellow or orange. The flavor is slightly different and richer than chicken eggs. A simple breakfast of scrambled duck eggs can be a real treat. An entire omelet or a fritata made with duck eggs is sheer heaven.

Often, finding duck eggs for sale can be a challenge. We’ve found that the best place to start looking for them is the local farmers market. (If you’re in the NC high country, try the Watauga Farmers Market and look for New Life Farms. They’re usually selling duck eggs.) I’ve also seen them listed on Craigslist. In fact, if you google “where can I buy duck eggs in ___________” and fill in the name of your city and state, you’ll be amazed at how many listings you find.

I have the personal philosophy that it’s always good to try new foods. Duck eggs are definitely worth going on the list of things to try. (And if you’re worried that your kids might not like them….your kids probably won’t know the difference if you don’t make a big deal out of them. They ARE eggs, after all.)

Duck eggs

What about you? Have you used duck eggs? Do you have any favorite recipes that you like to substitute duck eggs for chicken eggs? Do you have a favorite source for duck eggs?

Barb, writing at My Sister’s Kitchen

http://mysisterskitchenonline.com

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