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Emu Eggs for Breakfast

Farmers market find.


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Pterodactyl eggs. Bison eggs. Dragon eggs. Pampero Longhorn Ranch’s Jim Frei gives all kinds of joking explanations for the enormous turquoise-green eggs displayed at his stand on Saturday mornings at Walnut Creek’s Shadelands farmers market. Actually, the truth is nearly as strange: They’re emu eggs.

Frei started selling them three years ago, soon after he introduced eight emus onto his Sunol ranch, agreeing to take the birds off the hands of another rancher. 

“There’s no money in emus, but people love the eggs, and it brings them over to the stand,” says Frei, whose ranch specializes in grass-fed, free-range beef.

The equivalent of six to eight chicken eggs, one emu egg can make a whopper of an omelet. Usable in any recipe that calls for eggs, emu eggs have a similar taste, with a lighter, fluffier texture.

To open, Frei suggests drilling a hole through the top and then forcing the yolk out of the hole by blowing air in with a bicycle pump. That way, you can keep the shell as a unique memento or even sell it on eBay, where shells can go for $7 or more—almost as much as the $10 Frei charges for the eggs at his stand. 

Available December through April, pamperoranch.com

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