The top favourite breakfast in my household is duck eggs.
We’re lucky to get them from Ian, who has a property down Matangi Road, not far from where we live. Ian has a small flock of Buff Orpington ducks – free-range, of course. When he has spare eggs to sell, he emails me.
Duck eggs are so much more substantial than chicken eggs.
They’re larger, and the shells are a lot thicker, and the uncooked yolks and whites are firmer. The yolks are bright yellow, with almost a greenish tinge. (Maybe this is where “green eggs and ham” comes from!) Ian’s duck eggs taste fairly similar to excellent fresh free-range chicken eggs, I think.
Gathering duck eggs is a challenge, Ian says. Chickens are (mostly) happy to lay their eggs in nesting boxes. But the ducks lay their eggs all over the place. Which means sometimes they get muddy, and sometimes the pukekos get them before we do.
Above: Some of Ian’s ducks, looking for somewhere new to lay their eggs.
Ian also has Orpington hens. He chose these breeds because they’re good for producing both eggs and meat. (Orpington is a town in southern England where these “heritage” breeds were developed in the late nineteenth century.)
Best things to do with duck eggs
A poached duck egg, on Volare sourdough toast with a piece of Soggy Bottom bacon
Duck egg omelette
Two duck eggs, beat with a fork until yolk and white is well combined
Melt a knob of butter in a cast-iron frying pan
Add the eggs
Spread a handful of grated cheese on half the omelette, add a small handful of finely chopped parsley and a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper.
Fold the omelette in half and serve.