Do you remember the children’s game duck, duck, goose? A group of players would sit in a circle, facing inward and one would be it and walk around the outside of the circle tapping each child on the shoulder, “duck, duck, duck.” And then they’d finally pick one to be the “goose.” Frantic chasing around the circle ensued — until one tagged the other. I don’t remember the details, but the name came to mind when I sat down to write this post.
I think “duck, duck, goose” morphed into “spin the bottle” once adolescent hormones kicked in. Not that I would know.
But I digress.
Eggs — duck, duck, goose. The notes attached to the eggs in the photo above have nothing to do with who laid them. I have a winter egg share from my local CSA, Grant Family Farms and I’m now receiving some duck and goose eggs to go with the chicken share. My name is simply on my eggs at the pick-up location so share-holders don’t get confused, so no snide comments please. The photo is of one goose, duck, and chicken egg so you can see size comparisons.
The ducks, geese, and chickens at Grant Family Farms are fully pastured and consume an organic diet. The egg’s nutrition and flavor depends on what the birds eat and these lucky ducks (et al) eat what they’re supposed to be eating — bugs, plants, grasses and organic veggies. I’m told they’re particularly fond of organic romaine lettuce and have a rowdy barn dance when that’s served up. I suppose that’s one of the perks of living at Grant Farms Bird Spa. They have their own half-acre and access to swimming, fresh air, sunshine, and great food.
In the case of Grant Farms, “organic and pastured” means the birds live the good life outside, eat organic food, and are treated with care and consideration (as they should be). “Free range” may mean the birds are packed into a warehouse, but uncaged. It’s not quite what the name implies and the birds and the nutritional value of their products may be compromised. I’m finding it more and more important to know where my food comes from and who is responsible for growing, raising, and caring for it.
The ducks at Grant Farms are of the Peking variety and the eggs are cream-colored and make for light and fluffy baked goods. If you bake with gluten-free flours, these eggs help add texture and “spring” to everything from pancakes to muffins. The goose eggs I receive are from any of three breeds — Toulouse, African, or White Chinese and they’re big, as you can see below (compared to chicken eggs). One duck egg equals about 1.5 chicken eggs and 1 goose egg makes for 2 chicken eggs. They seem creamier than chicken eggs and the whites beat up a little stiffer. I LOVE them for gluten-free baking.
For everything you ever wanted to know about the nutrition of chicken eggs, including why you shouldn’t worry about them in connection with your cholesterol, check out this past post I did on the subject. If you eat eggs, choose high-end, pastured chicken eggs.