Kalamazoo, MI
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The Food Beat

More Bang for Your Cluck: The Benefit of Duck Eggs

(Courtesy Photo)

Have you ever had a duck egg? Fried, over-medium, scrambled, or sunny-side up?

It’s comparable to a chicken egg in appearance and taste. A quick glance wouldn’t be enough to discern between the gray-white, rounded, seemingly translucent shell of a duck egg and the slightly smaller, cleaner shell of a white chicken egg.  Priced at $3 per dozen at the Bank Street Farmer’s market (the same price as chicken eggs), duck eggs and their subtle distinctiveness are worth experiencing.

I like my eggs over-medium – the whites completely cooked and the yolk mostly runny. I cook them in a pan with butter, olive oil, or coconut oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a hearty crank of a pepper.

Until recently I’ve been following this procedure with chicken eggs, but when given the opportunity to try something new and different – like duck eggs – I usually take it.

A few weeks ago, I purchased my first dozen from Dwight Eichorn of Eichorn Family Farms. I bought two dozen – one chicken and one duck (he’ll even let you mix and match chicken and duck eggs within one dozen) – for $5.

At home, I did a side-by-side taste test, cooking them to my usual liking. The duck egg was slightly tougher to crack due to the thicker shell. The thicker white lengthened the cook-time and did not spread out on the pan as much, indicating a fresher egg.

The more important divide was in the taste, however. The duck egg had a richer, more flavorful yolk. Its yellow was deeper and provided a thick coat on a crust of toast. The white is thicker, with a stronger, earthier flavor. Careful, though, It can turn rubbery if cooked too long. Because of the sturdier albumen, or ‘white’, some bakers use duck eggs to give height to their cakes and pastries.

I found myself comfortably full after my taste test, pleased with my exploration of a new food.

A dozen duck eggs give you more bang for your buck. One egg has almost twice the calories as a chicken egg – 130 compared to 70. Duck eggs are also higher in protein (9 grams per egg), fat, and iron. They contain more omega 3 fatty acids because a duck’s diet includes more aquatic plants, fish, and fish eggs. To sum up, they’ll keep you full longer for less money and more nutrients!

It remains obscure why grocery stores in Kalamazoo do not sell duck eggs. I recommend a visit to Dwight’s table at the market on Saturday to get your first dozen.

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More Bang for Your Cluck: The Benefit of Duck Eggs