To me the farmers market is always like a treasure hunt. Who knows what you are going to find on any given visit? I always go full of anticipation wondering what will I be carting home in my basket. This week as I was perusing the vendors and their products with a fellow foodie I spied a sign for duck eggs. My friend and I are always looking for the unusual so it drew us like a magnet. We found the farmer to be equally enthusiastic about his farm, its practices and these large and delicious wonders of nature. His description of rich deep orange yolks coveted by bakers and chefs conviced us they were a must have.
Duck eggs are larger than the large chicken variety and as promised house a big, beautiful, marigold colored yolk. With a larger yolk to white ratio, they have less water, are higher in protein and possess a higher fat content. This makes them great for custards and cakes but probably not your best choice for meringue. Prized for baking, it is said that cakes rise higher and have an excellent taste due to that big fat yolk. Everything you do with chicken eggs you can do with their cousin the duck egg. Fry, bake, scramble, soft cook, hard cook, poach , they are rich tasting and very satisfying.
It is recommended that they not be overcooked as the whites get tough and rubbery. This applies to all egg cookery but might be a bit more important for these eggs as the whites are denser.
The hard shell provides them with a longer shelf life, 2 weeks if left on the counter or up to six weeks if stored in the refrigerator. They may require a couple of extra whacks for cracking but it is worth the effort.
Hey there backyard chicken farmers, have you considered ducks? There is a lot of buzz in the culinary world about duck eggs lately. Is this one of those trendy foods we will be seeing more and more on restaurant menus ? Let’s hope so! Better get crackalackin’ or in this case, quackalackin’!
I have learned so much from farmer market vendors over the years. Take the time to talk with them, ask questions and keep an open mind. Their enthusiasm and excitement is infectious and you will go home able to make new and better food choices. I try to buy something I have never tried before every time I visit the market. It has expanded my palate and culinary experiences.
What is your favorite farmers market story? Did it change the way you view your menus/recipes? Would love to hear from you.