Muscovy duck eggs?
Our lane is overpopulated with Muscovy ducks. They lay in my neighbor's basement, so she has being doing a bit of proactive population control and getting rid of the eggs. Throwing them away seems like a waste, so I've asked her to keep them for me when she's SURE they're no more than a day old.
Here's the thing: the yolks are much more solid than I'm used to, almost as if they're slightly cooked (indeed, if I got poached egg with a yolk like this in a restaurant, I'd send it back as overcooked). I've purchased lots of duck eggs before, and have never seen this. The yolks have been consistently like this, over about a dozen eggs.
I'm a pretty adventurous eater, but these make me a little uneasy - in part because I like my yolks sloppy, and these are already beyond that, without having been cooked at all! I've used a couple in a batter, and they were fine, if difficult to beat. Does anyone know if this is normal for Muscovy eggs? Should I woman up and have one on toast?
I was brought up on all sorts of duck eggs, and they are all good to eat!
If the eggs are fresh there should be no problem. Once you have your eggs, wash off the worst of the dirt, and then they will safely keep, refrigerated, for up to two months (longer actually, but two months usually freaks most people out so I'll leave it at that!). Duck eggs have a number of sophisticated mechanisms to keep the developing ducklings safe from bacterial attack, which also serve to keep them fresh for longer than a hen egg. Bacterial contamination of duck eggs is not as common as people think.
But getting back to the thick yolk problem, I have encountered this too. I don't think it is the species of duck, but rather their diet which causes it, because all sorts of ducks have provided eggs like this at one time or another, and I have also had muscovies which rarely, if ever, did.
The eggs are still good to eat, but it is harder to work out when the yolk is cooked properly, which to me is hot but not yet set solid. Like you I prefer my yolks runny!
You are very lucky - where I live duck eggs are $5 for half a dozen, and as I have no ducks anymore I do occasionally indulge, even at that price!
The eggs I get from free range ducks have yolks that are very thick when raw. I think I would describe them as syrupy. When poached or over easy they're even thicker and don't run so much as ooze. I love them! I'm sure AnotherMother is right and it has to do with their diet. I haven't had wild duck eggs but I would imagine if they're foraging a good diet the yolks would be even more sturdy then the free range eggs I get.
I'm a yolk lover. I can take or leave the whites so I love the fact that these eggs have big yolks that don't run away from the toast. Definitely woman up and toss a couple in the pan! They also turn out the easiest, prettiest poached eggs I've ever made and seem to make baked goods better.
I'm hoping the secret doesn't get out around here. They've only recently started showing up in our farmers market and currently they're $3.50/dozen!
Thank you both for your great replies! I think you must be right. These ducks have a spectacular diet, including snails and the occasional fish (I'm told this is not abnormal for Muscovies).
It looks like we have an endless supply, so I'm going to experiment a bit with them (there's no way I could go through all these at the rate I normally use eggs). Chinese salted duck eggs, anyone??