How to Buy Ostrich Eggs

Not only is ostrich meat known as a lean and healthy meat, but ostrich eggs also are beginning to appear in grocery stores and farmer's markets throughout the United States and abroad. Ostrich eggs taste just like chicken eggs and have virtually the same nutritional content.

They are lighter and airier, however, than chicken eggs, making them ideal for making meringues. Ostrich eggs also are a favourite when cooking scrambled eggs for a crowd. Although they take about 40 minutes to hard boil, some speciality restaurants serve them that way because eating the eggs of the largest bird in the world is just plain fun.

Find a local ostrich farm and see if they sell ostrich eggs. Fresh is always best, and most ostrich farmers, while they may focus on selling ostrich feathers and meat, also sell some eggs. Check with your local farmer's market, or look in the yellow pages under "produce" or "fresh produce."

Research online sources for ostrich eggs, if you can't find them locally. Try searching for "fresh ostrich eggs" or simply "ostrich eggs."

Read shipping information carefully, since ostrich eggs are both large and delicate. To avoid breakage, adequate packaging is vital before shipping. The mailing time frame should also be quick to ensure freshness.

Choose a size. There really is no such thing as a small ostrich egg. An average-sized ostrich egg is around the size of a cantaloupe and equals about 24 chicken eggs. A single ostrich egg, made into an omelette, feeds about 12 people. Unless you are cooking for a crowd, look for the smallest size you can find.

Read carefully to make sure you're buying fresh ostrich eggs. Blown out ostrich eggs (those consisting of shell and no innards) are used for crafts and art projects, and are sometimes easier to find than fresh ostrich eggs.

Check the eggs for cracks as soon as you receive the shipment. Set aside any cracked or broken eggs.

Test the eggs for freshness. Fill a large bowl with water and place one egg at a time in the water. Bad eggs float because the shell has disintegrated enough to allow air to pass through.

Throw away all cracked, broken or floating eggs. They are likely either rotten or contaminated with bacteria that could cause food poisoning.