Tuesday, May 25, 2010

There's Just Something About a Duck...

I grew up eating a lot of eggs. Fried, scrambled, hard-boiled, whisked into casseroles and cakes. Our fridge was never without at least a dozen of those white orbs, lined up two by two in their paper carton. Although a fare share of our breakfasts did include them (over-medium, please!), it wasn't just in the morning that eggs made appearances on our plates back then. We ate egg salad sandwiches at lunch time, and my mom's 'Creamed Eggs on Toast' was a family favorite at the dinner table (think gravy with sliced, boiled eggs served over toasted bread). I loved eggs then, and I am absolutely enamored with them now.

Of course, as a child, we only ate chicken eggs. They were perfectly white, grade A large, uniform in size and shape, purchased from Kroger at least once a week. If you had tried to feed me a brown egg when I was a child, or even worse, one from some animal other than a chicken, there would have been hell to pay. I knew what eggs were supposed to look like and from which farm animals they were supposed to come.

But then I grew up. And I realized that those eggs I'd been so adamant about eating weren't really all that good. I started eating brown eggs which were pretty tasty. And then I started buying eggs from a farmer which were all different colors and sizes. Those were really tasty. And then one day, I ate a duck egg. It was magical.

Never before had I experienced such richness, such creaminess as that which spewed forth from that shell. I was immediately in love. I ate fried egg sandwiches like they were the only edible thing left on Earth. It was euphoric to have the gooey, yellow yolk dripping from my chin. Have you ever had a hard-boiled duck egg? You must. They are luscious.

Besides the unbeatable flavor and texture, duck eggs have other benefits, as well. One is that they contain more albumen, the protein in the white, which gives them more structure when they're cooked. This makes them powerhouses for leavening your baked goods. Those cakes will be fluffier than ever!

On the nutrition front, duck eggs also get high marks. They are an excellent source of protein, iron, potassium and all nine essential amino acids. For a look at the nutrition content of duck vs. chicken eggs, check out the table on this site. Since the yolks are larger, duck eggs do have more saturated fat than their chicken counterparts, but the difference is slight (only about 3g). With all things considered, the extra fat is a small price to pay.

I buy my duck eggs locally from Sky Valley Family Farm out of Startup, WA at the University District Farmer's Market. I have also seen them for sale at Whole Foods and Seattle's local co-ops, PCC and Madison Market. Check your local health food store and farmers market to see if duck eggs are available in your community. You'll love them, I promise.

Below is a recipe for egg salad that I recently tried out. It was adapted from this one at the Food Network and tasted pretty good. Not nearly as good as my mom's, though.

Egg Salad
makes 4-6 servings

6 duck eggs, hard-boiled, cooled & peeled
1/4 C. mayo
1 T. chopped, fresh dill
1 T. whole grain mustard
2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 T. chopped, fresh chives (I used garlic chives)

Place the eggs in a medium-sized bowl and coarsely chop with a fork.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir while continuing to cut apart the eggs. I like to leave mine a little on the chunky side. 

Smear onto bread for traditional sandwiches, dollop onto crackers as dainty appetizers, or serve alongside raw veggies as a killer dip. Enjoy!



  1. glad you are loving those eggs, we have chickens and the eggs are delicious. store bought eggs sound like a punishment to me.
    i haven't tried duck though, and you have inspired me.
    loving your blog, i tell people about it all the time. keep up the beautiful work.

  2. Anonymous, thank you for the kind words. I'm jealous of your chickens! One day I'll have some of my own. Next time please leave your name! I'd love to know who you are :)


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