Are you still cracking chicken eggs to make your omelet? You may be slightly behind the times. The latest trend in food is witnessing the emergence of a variety of eggs, far removed from our average domesticated hens.
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods in the world containing, protein, fats and vitamins; however, many people nowadays are looking beyond the nutritional value of eggs; they also want a sense of adventure and novelty when eating an egg — hence, the appearance of unusual eggs like ostrich and pigeon in the market.
If you love your breakfast eggs, read on.
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Everybody knows about chicken eggs. These eggs are the most common type of eggs that you can get from any market. The eggs come in a variety of shades of white, brown and even olive green, but have approximately the same nutritional value. The varying colors depend on the breed of the chicken.
Chicken eggs are fairly mild in taste and are rich in calcium, zinc and proteins. They are more flavorful if they are farm fresh or free range.
Some of the mouthwatering dishes that you can create out of chicken eggs include:
- Oyako Don (chicken and egg over rice)
- Egg drop soup
- Spicy Shoyu ramen
Turkey eggs are quite rare since the bird does not lay as many eggs as a chicken. In fact, a turkey produces only a hundred eggs per year.
These eggs are slightly larger in size than a chicken’s egg but slightly smaller in size than a duck’s. Turkey eggs have pleasantly brown-speckled shells and are rich in calcium. The eggs have a creamier texture and taste because of their bigger and thicker yellow yolks and light, runny whites.
Like chicken eggs, turkey eggs are perfect when consumed in their fried form. However, some people also prefer turkey eggs for cooking pastries because of their more intense flavor. These eggs are pretty difficult to find in stores because most farmers get more profit from breeding and raising the birds (for events and holidays like Thanksgiving) rather than selling their eggs.
Quail eggs are tiny when compared to other bird eggs. A quail egg is just one-fourth the size of a hen’s egg — about the size of a cherry — and has a pale creamy brown shell with large dark brown or black speckles.
Quail eggs have tiny, light yellow yolks and are light and mild in taste, quite similar to chicken eggs. They have a higher proportion of yolk to white than chicken eggs and are rich in Vitamin D and B12. Their nutritional content is also similar to that of a chicken. However, because they are so tiny, you may have to eat several quail eggs to match the nutrition of a single chicken egg.
Because of their diminutive size, they are quite hard to peel, so they are best eaten hard-boiled. They also make the cutest deviled eggs.
Some yummy recipes made from quail eggs are:
- Spicy Malaysian sambal
- Dill herrings and quails’ eggs canapés
- Golden egg ravioli
Goose eggs are at least twice as large as a chicken’s egg. The main egg production period for a goose is the spring, from March to May. Depending on the size of the bird, 4 to 6 eggs can be laid in the nest. Some Chinese goose breeds start laying eggs in winter.
Goose eggs have a much richer taste than chicken eggs and have greater protein content. They have quite hard shells and take some force to crack open. These eggs are much rarer than chicken or turkey eggs because a goose lays only about 40 eggs per year.
One goose egg can make a wonderful breakfast for two people.
Some of the best goose egg dishes you can make are:
- Goose eggs en cocotte with crème fraiche
- Cauliflower hash egg cups
- Goose egg with spinach
Common pheasants lay a clutch of about 8-15 eggs, but sometimes can lay as many as 18. The peasant eggs are olive or brown in color and are usually laid between the spring periods from April to June.
These birds are native to Asian countries and have eggs with deep, yellow dense yolks. They are slightly larger than chicken eggs and have mild rich taste. They also have a gamey taste, which is why they are considered as game birds.
Some of the best quail recipes are:
- Fried egg sandwich with hollandaise sauce
- Pheasant eggs on sausage toast
- Asparagus and pheasant egg salad
People have been eating pigeon eggs for thousands of years. These eggs are considered a prized delicacy in many Asian cultures, right along with quail eggs.
Pigeon eggs are a bit larger than quail eggs, though still tiny when compared to a chicken egg. The egg white has slightly denser texture when cooked and is clearer than a normal chicken egg’s. Because of their small size, it takes 3-4 pigeon eggs to substitute one chicken egg. Part of this may depend on the size of the pigeons; bigger pigeon breeds may lay larger eggs.
Pigeon eggs are eaten raw in several Asian countries and are used in French cooking. Some great dishes to cook from pigeon eggs are:
- Braised pigeon eggs with bamboo shoots and mushroom
- Sichuan hot pot with pigeon eggs
- Wood pigeons salad with soft poached eggs
Duck eggs are larger and richer and smoother in flavor than hen’s eggs. They have thick shells that are white to pale yellow in color. Because of this, the eggs can remain fresher for a longer period of time. They also have a flatter, narrower circumference than a chicken’s egg.
Duck eggs have high levels of calcium, protein, iron, Vitamin B complex and potassium but also more fat and cholesterol. Despite this, they are a favorite in restaurant menus.
Duck eggs are quite similar to chicken eggs in flavor and have light yellow yolk, which turn orange when boiled. The egg whites also have a pale blue tinge. Like most game bird, duck eggs have a slightly gamey flavor.
Some great-tasting recipes which include duck eggs are:
- Scrambled duck eggs with smoked salmon and asparagus
- Coddled duck egg with fresh herb bruschetta
- Curry-infused deviled duck eggs
It should come as no surprise that the eggs of this flightless bird are huge, almost equal to 24 chicken eggs, and weighs about 4 pounds. The egg shells are creamy white in color, extremely hard and 20 times thicker than a chicken egg shell.
Obviously, the egg is quite expensive and not readily available. If you do manage to get your hands on one, you will see that it has the same runny yolk and nutrition percentage as a chicken’s egg. They also take about 2 hours to boil, so if you want breakfast, be ready to wake up at the crack of dawn. They have a light delicate flavor.
Some scrumptious Ostrich egg recipes are:
- Scotch Ostrich eggs
- Bacon, cheese and potato ostrich egg frittata
- Scrambled ostrich egg
Have you tasted all these types of eggs? Perhaps it is time to be more egg-venturous!