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Monday, May 19, 2014

Peafowl Egg. A Rare Treat From a Farming Friend.


Peafowl eggs make  a rare, delicious and hearty  breakfast.

A family friend retired from her management job here in our area, a few years back, and bought some property on the West side of Michigan. 

As a Master Gardener and animal enthusiast, it was only a matter of time before she started to raise and grow food.

Because we have entertained the idea of raising chickens and maybe a few other things ourselves, we have watched carefully, to glean as much information as we could from the things she is doing.

Knowing my fascination with the possibilities of poultry, on a recent visit she brought us, not only a dozen farm fresh eggs, but a peafowl egg as well.  I had never tasted peahen eggs and was very excited.

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Peafowl eggs are a rare treat, because, unlike chickens, which can lay an egg every day for most of the year, peahens will only lay eggs during a small time window in the spring,and only one egg every other day,  so while an average laying hen will produce between 200 and 250 eggs per year,  a peahen may produce at most 20 eggs a year, under ideal conditions.


So I was flattered and honored that she was willing to share one of her first eggs of the season with me.

Peahen eggs are considerably larger than chicken eggs.  In baking it is recommended that you use one peahen egg to replace 2 chicken eggs.

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Another very obvious difference was the thickness of the shell.  It took several good solid thwacks ( technical term) on the side of the bowl to get it to break open, while one moderate thwack is enough for a chicken egg.

Once cracked the color and consistency was very similar to the chicken eggs from her farm, (Which of course tend to have have darker yolks than grocery store eggs.)

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I opted to fry both the peahen egg and a chicken egg, so I could taste them side by side for comparison.

The peahen egg took quite a bit longer to cook, and had a tendency to stick to the pan a bit more.  I suspect there is a chemical difference, quite possibly a higher protein level, or lower fat content, that caused this, but not being a chemist or scientist, I couldn’t say for sure.

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The end result was a fried egg, over medium, that was roughly twice the size of the other egg I cooked for comparison.

The taste was very similar. The white of the peahen egg seemed to have a little less flavor than the chicken egg. The yolk seemed to have significantly richer flavor, and almost a sweetness to it.  My brain immediately turned to baking.  A recipe that calls for egg yolk, for a cheesecake, or even a hollandaise sauce, would logically be much better with peahen eggs, while a meringue or other recipe that just uses the white, would probably not be noticeably different.

It was a fun experiment, a very nice breakfast, and a learning experience.

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Thank you Glenda, for sharing a bit of your farm with us!

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