Blog submitted by Nadine Naujoks
Update: Turkey eggs are no longer available at the Mill Spring Farm Store
Ever eaten turkey eggs?
Probably not, but our Founding Fathers did,
Turkey eggs used to be a staple in early America, heartier and more common than chickens. Some Native Americans still consider the eggs a delicacy. Turkey egg omelettes were a regular offering at New York’s legendary Delmonico’s restaurant in the late 19th century.
In the 1500's explorers brought domesticated turkeys across the Atlantic to Europe and turkey eggs were soon a part of Old-World cuisine. Since the 16th century the premiere chefs of Europe prefered turkey eggs over chicken, duck and goose for both baking (chewy yet velvety texture) and for sauces (creamier.)
So why are turkey eggs so rare in modern times?
Economics. Commercial eggs producers are put off for these reasons:
Turkeys don't lay as early as chickens.
When they do begin laying, turkeys lay a third as many eggs per year as chickens.
Turkeys are big birds and require a lot of food.
Turkeys are "brooders" meaning they have a much stronger maternal instinct. They want to incubate their eggs, not abandon them.
Want to learn what caused such a clamour among the Top Chefs of Shakespeare's England? The Mill Spring Farm Store now has turkey eggs available.
Turkey eggs will enhace the texture and flavor of any of your favorite fritatta or souffle recipes. The easiest and most traditional preparation method for turkey eggs is boiling (six minutes in simmering liquid) or poaching (four minutes). Or you could try this Fried Turkey Egg with Spring Vegetables recipe and really show off that glorious huge creamy yolk.
Fried Turkey Egg with Spring Vegetables
4 turkey eggs
2 tbs light oil
2 cups seasonal vegetables like green beans, asparagus, peas or other favorites.
1 tbs chopped parsley
1 tbs butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a small non stick frying pan on a low heat. Cooking one at a time, cafrefully crack in the egg, season the white with a little sea salt & pepper and cook very gently until the white has just set then transfer to serving plates and keep warm in a very low oven until the rest of the eggs are cooked.
Meanwhile melt the butter in another pan and heat the vegetables and parsley and season to taste. Plate the eggs and scatter the vegetables and butter over the eggs and serve immediately.
One other very appealing thing about turkey eggs - they have a pleasing speckling just right for Easter decorations!