Oak Park Farmers' Market Report: Why a Duck (Egg)?

"Ramped-up version of a chicken egg."

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By David Hammond

Last weekend at the Mint Creek tent at the Oak Park Farmer's Market, I bought a dozen chicken eggs and a dozen duck eggs. Got to say, the taste is similar (no surprise there) but the duck eggs are maybe 50% larger and the yolks of the duck eggs are maybe 100% larger than the yolks of the chicken eggs.

Bigger yolks. So…what?

Well, for starters, the bigger yolk in the duck egg means it's going to be richer than the chicken egg, which may or may not appeal to you. In a sunny-side up preparation, you may find it somewhat more challenging to deal with the much larger yolk.

I probably prefer a little more balance (say 50/50) between white and yolk, but maybe that's just what I'm used to. And my concern here applies only to fried eggs; if you scramble the duck eggs, you will get a very appealing deep yellow scramble, and it doesn't seem to matter much if there's more yolk than white.

Now, because the duck eggs have much more yolk than a chicken egg, those with cholesterol concerns might dismiss them out of hand because they believe that eating foods that contain more cholesterol might raise their cholesterol levels. However, as you may know, and as recently explained in Time (yes, that print publication still exists):

"Scientific research has vindicated dietary cholesterol, finding that eating cholesterol has no real impact on cholesterol metabolism. That is, eating foods high in cholesterol, does not mean you'll develop high cholesterol. Some evidence suggests that eggs might even be beneficial for cholesterol by raising levels of HDL cholesterol, the 'good' cholesterol that's linked to a lower risk of heart disease." 

And there may even be other benefits, aside from richer mouth-feel and lowered cholesterol, that make duck eggs an attractive option. Modern Farmer, a most excellent publication (also still extant) had this to say about duck eggs:

"Duck eggs are a phenomenal treat, a ramped-up version of a chicken egg that has a much bigger and richer yolk, a higher concentration of nutrients and more protein than the standard hen's egg." 

As duck eggs contain more nutrients and protein, and they're at least as tasty if not sometimes tastier, than chicken eggs, I'll probably be eating more of them. In addition to Mint Creek, duck eggs are sold at a few other stands throughout the market, though the young lady at Mint Creek said that at the Oak Park Farmers' Market, she sells about 6 dozen duck eggs for every 50 dozen or so chicken eggs (as a point of contrast, at the Logan Square Farmers' Market, she sells an equal amount of both).

If you eat as many eggs per week as we do, you might want to consider trying this "ramped-up version of a chicken egg." I recommend scrambling them.



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