Cooking with exotic eggs?
Who does this and why?
There is a post on the General Topics board about emu eggs
I came across good article by the Washington Post about using emu, ostrich, quail and duck eggs and the differences.
According to the article because of the thick shell an ostrich egg can keep in the fridge for about a year.
"Duck eggs ... with a higher level of protein and richness, they are sought out by pastry chefs ... Jonathan Zearfoss ... calls duck eggs "a really nice item, particularly for custards, ice cream, creme brulee and flan. They bring a real richness, a yolky quality.
"the goose egg turns out to have a deep, orange yolk that rides high in the gelatinous white, and its rich but gamy flavor when scrambled draws mixed reviews .. the cholesterol content -- 1,227 grams -- is almost six times as high" (as chicken eggs).
"the sweet and rich quail eggs, with paper-thin shells and lemony-colored yolks, are everyone's favorite. The ones we scramble are positively sweet and creamy"
About duck eggs, one poster writes ...
"In one of her Bibles Rose Levy Beranbaum says they are not particularly good for regular cakes as they yield a coarse texture. She also says the whites don't beat well for meringue. She says the yolks are unsurpassed for custards, ice cream etc. Of course that leaves you with a bunch of whites to dispose of"
Here's a Chowhound post about turkey eggs
"Tastewise, it was very similar to the chicken egg, except that perhaps the egg white was...hmm...how to explain this..."more" white...not tougher exactly, but a bit thicker, and the egg white flavour more pronounced. I enjoyed it! Second tasting this morning for breakfast, this time making scrambled eggs. Used two turkey eggs, no chicken eggs. Loved the results...made a dense, tasty scramble that didn't put off that little bit of liquid that I sometimes get when I make scrambled eggs with chicken eggs."
Another poster wrote of turkey eggs "I was surprised at the lemon yellow color of the yolks. Also, the whites didn't set up as high and firm as the extra large cage-free Clover-Stornetta chicken eggs I used to make lunch that day.
So what eggs do do you use for special reasons?
The only ones I have cooked are quail eggs. Although they are indeed extremely cute and the tiny speckled shells especially appealing, I found the taste to be indistinguishable from chicken eggs and thus not really worth the extra money. For those in New York who are curious the Trade Fair Markets in Queens always stock them, I assume for their Asian customers.
The shell of quail eggs may be thin, but the membrane under it is quite tough. I couldn't just crack and open the egg, I had to use a knife to cut the membrane, hoping that I did not cut too deep and break the yolk. Canned hard cooked quail eggs are easier to use, though they have briny metallic taste common to canned items.
I've only experimented with quail eggs. The flavor seemed the same as a really fresh chicken egg. I use them for pickled eggs - a nice bite size. Less intimidating than a whole chicken egg for those who have never tried a pickled egg. People also go nuts with the cuteness aspect when quail eggs are deviled!
I make deviled quail eggs for hors d'ouvres - I personally find the flavor to be far better than hens' eggs, but I think "personally" is the key word there. They're good for nibbles, as they're small enough to pop in your mouth in one bite - no filling on your chin like can happen with a slightly wobbly chicken egg!
I stumbled across another recipe for them the other day, and this came out really, really good and a little different than the usual cocktail fare, so might show up soon
Blanch mushroom caps for 3 minutes in boiling water (1 cap per egg), drain well, and cool.
Arrange in a baking dish and put a pinch of basil chiffonade into each mushroom cap.
Break a quail egg into each mushroom, then top with a drizzle of creme fraiche, salt, and pepper. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.
I can tell you from eating quail eggs on many occasions that I don't find them to taste much different than regular chicken eggs. They are awfully cute and small, though.
My sister's husband is Vietnamese, and she takes me to a very nice Asian market near where she lives. They use quail egg in the center of their steamed pork buns, and the yolk of a quail egg in the center of the flaky red bean buns.
My sister uses them boiled and whole as a condiment in the Vietnamese soup she makes.
re: c oliver
Reading the emu egg post on the General Boards got me curious about how to cook them. I never considered that different eggs might be used for various cooking methods.
I'm a little standoffish about eggs in general, even chicken. There;s something so mucus-y about them. I've had hard-boiled quail eggs, but despite being cute, something about them just weirds me out. I've been trying to work up to the turkey eggs in the Bay Area. As for local raw turtle eggs here ... I don't think so.
Still, now I'm wondering how many times I may have unknowlingly had duck eggs in desserts at restaurants and raved about those dishes. Somethings it is better not to know. They taste better that way.
So, I'm curious about how these different eggs are used by others. It might open up that part of the food world for me.