- C. W. Cameron For the AJC
One of the staples of your local farmers market is the farmer with eggs. Eggs from local chickens who roam freely and eat bugs and grass and the things they find while scratching around in that grass are prized for their rich flavor and by those who appreciate that those chickens are living a “good” life.
Occasionally you’ll find a farmer with quail eggs, and recently we found a farmer with duck eggs.
Michael McLane of Broadfork Meadows Farm in Rising Fawn raises both chickens and ducks on his farm in the northwest corner of Georgia on Lookout Mountain. He sells his eggs at the Saturday morning Peachtree City and Marietta farmers markets. Next year, he expects to be selling at the Chattanooga Farmers Market as well as in Marietta.
The farm has two braces of ducks (that’s 30 total) and about two dozen chickens, and they plan to add more.
“Duck eggs are a favorite of a number of restaurants and bakeries. They cook up so well and they’re excellent for pastries, cakes, quiches and things like that. I like raising them because they help us stand out as a farm. I also happen to like raising ducks.”
He notes that one of the real distinguishing characteristics of duck eggs is their tough shells, and explains the reason.
“When a duck lays eggs in the wild, she will sometimes lay 10 or 12 eggs in a clutch and lay those eggs over a period of two weeks. The eggs have to stay viable and not get cracked when she lays eggs on top of them.” Those tough shells also mean the eggs have a longer shelf/refrigerator life than chicken eggs.
Duck eggs also have a bigger yolk and that’s appealing for customers who want a big bright yolk in their breakfast egg.
There’s one more factor in the duck egg’s favor. “For people who are allergic to chicken eggs, we find that the vast majority can eat duck eggs without an allergic reaction.”
This holiday breakfast idea comes from chef Matt Weinstein of One Midtown Kitchen and takes comfort food to a whole new level. His suggestion is to serve your duck egg sunny side up, but as he says, “You can cook it however you fancy!”