Larger than a chicken egg and smaller than a goose egg, the duck egg is a tasty, healthy and versatile alternative. Scramble it. Poach it. Bake it in a cake. But before cracking that first shell, learn more about what makes the duck egg distinct.
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Differences Between Duck Eggs and Chicken Eggs
The most obvious difference between the chicken egg and the duck egg is size; duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs. The shells of duck eggs are slightly tougher to crack. The tougher shell gives duck eggs a longer shelf life--about 6 weeks in the refrigerator. Inside, you'll find that the yoke is larger in proportion to the whites than that of a chicken egg. So, if you're a yoke lover, duck eggs could become a favourite.
What Can You Do With a Duck Egg?
You can do anything with a duck egg that you do with a chicken egg. Duck eggs are less watery than chicken eggs, so overcooking them can render them rubbery. Duck eggs are excellent for baking. Due to their high protein content, duck eggs make cakes rise high and stay that way, while their high fat content gives baked goods a richer taste and colour. The size difference between duck eggs and chicken eggs should be taken into account. Some bakers use 1 duck egg for every 2 chicken eggs called for. Duck egg whites are harder to whip than the chicken variety. Adding a little acid, in the form of lemon juice, will help whip them into shape.
A duck egg contains about 130 calories; an extra large chicken egg contains about 80. Of the calories in a duck egg, about 86 are from fat, mostly monounsaturated fat. One duck egg contains 205 per cent of the daily value for cholesterol, 18 per cent of the daily value for protein and 15 per cent of the daily value for iron; 100 grams of duck egg contain more of the vitamins B6, B12 and A than the same amount of chicken egg.
Where to Find Duck Eggs
If you're lucky enough to live near a farm that raises ducks and sells fresh duck eggs, your search is over. Other possibilities would be to search farmers markets, speciality grocery stores or Chinese markets. There are also many poultry farms online that ship fresh duck eggs all over the country. Of course, you can always raise your own ducks. They make great pets and will provide you with the freshest of fresh eggs.
Fertile Duck Eggs
When a duck lays a fertile egg, the embryo is at a very early stage of development, visible only through a microscope. The embryo then will stay dormant until the mother duck collects enough eggs to sit on continuously. When she begins this brooding phase, the embryo resumes its development. Duck eggs collected at the time of laying, even if fertile, will not taste or appear any different than non-fertile eggs. Blood spots on yokes are not an indication of fertility.
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