Eggs are among the very most basic and versatile of food staples, and nearly every refrigerator has a carton within. Of chicken eggs, that is. Duck and goose eggs are a little less common, and quail eggs, whether raw or soft-boiled, are widely considered a delicacy.
But what about even more exotic eggs?
Emu and ostrich eggs are now available alongside the duck, quail, and chicken eggs at many Whole Foods markets. Since ostriches are the largest living species of bird, their eggs are correspondingly enormous—a single ostrich egg can weigh up to three pounds, and is equivalent to around twenty chicken eggs when prepared. While they taste similar to chicken eggs, and can be served in the same ways, they’re a bit more difficult to tackle—cracking them open may require a hammer and ice pick, and hard-boiling an ostrich egg can an hour or more.
Emu eggs, on the other hand, are dark green and avocado-sized—indeed, very much resembling a Hass avocado. Smaller than ostrich eggs, they’re still quite sizeable: weighing around a pound and yielding the equivalent of ten chicken eggs or more. With a much higher yolk-to-white ratio, they are nevertheless much lighter in texture than chicken eggs. And the thick shells have three distinct layers—allowing them to be carved into beautiful works of art.
While neither egg is particularly budget-friendly—retailing at around $30 each—they’re an interesting, if unexpected, addition to the grocery store aisle.