Like the one from the ostrich? Ivory coloured with cellulite structure? Eggs like these can not be simply breaked in a pan. They are the most thickest eggs worldwide and in Germany they roll most frequently into the nest in the Pfalz, in south germany, set of long-legged bird- ladies from Africa. 2009 one of these “oval artworks” from Rülzheim in the Pfalz broke all records. “The 2720-gram egg was then the largest egg in the world,” says the ostrich breeder and ex-journalist Christoph Kistner, “for there is evidence, we just never let it into the Guinness Book, because this is not important for us.”
The delicate egg-producer was the pride of their owners, Uschi Braun and Christoph Kistner from the ostrich farm Mhou. Both attach great importance to their welfare farm, including now about 80 animals. The pathfinders built up a small ostrich paradise around a South African lodge in the middle of the Pfalz since 1993.
They like to watch over their flock of flightless giant birds in how they hover lightly over the meadows, in betweenof all of them their favorite biddy “Carla”. But then, seven years ago, a sudden accident. Carla fell, without warning victim to a german-army-attack. A troop unit practiced with their oversized transport helicopters too close to the ground. The noise offset the large, terrifying bird so panicked, that her legs knotted and one broke. Ostrich legs are not appeared. The animal had to be killed. Only their descendants can be admired on the farm yet, louder brown- Carlas and black-feathered Carlos.
Open-minded and interested, the animals are stretching their funny heads towards every visitor. If you stand too close besides the fence, is ever a fast beak plucking a jiffy the spectacle of the nose. From the sun terrace of the farm you have a good look at the animals with their pompous decorated butt. Kistner: “Ostrich eggs taste actually just like chicken eggs and the best is to eat it scrambled. For that you’d have to drill the egg up and down, insert a straw on one side into it and blow it out. “In an average ostrich egg can fit about 25 to 30 chicken eggs. Thus even the relationship 3rd degree will still well set.
Having a diameter of about 15 to 20 cm and a length of up to 20 cm, the egg is a little unwieldy. One would really have to engage oneself first on the act with this egg: It does not fit into an eggcup, but there are specially made wooden stands for ostrich eggs. One can cook it tender within 45 minutes or hard in about 90 minutes, but you can not even just pierce a hole in it before cooking, so it’s not going to burst. For this you need a drill again. Eating it mannerly, à la Knigge to behead a specific knife strikes through the wrist, is almost impossible. The shell is 2 to 3 mm thick and very robust. One can stand on such an egg without problems and it does not break. “You have to swag on it before you’ll get to it’s ‘heart’,” explains Ramona Scheer from Ostrich Farm Chiemgau. She has a lot of experience with the preparation of these giant eggs, she is the chef of the kitchen of the Ostrich Farm. “When stirring it is best portioning, but hard boiled and sliced, it looks very decorative,” she says.
Ostrich eggs are popular. “All eggs are reserved for events of associations and groups, till autumn there is nothing to do,” says Kistner. Scheer and other breeders in Germany have a similar situation. Who wants to have Easter ostrich eggs must plan far ahead or ask abroad. Ostriches lay only about 40 to 50 eggs per year. With one exception: If you steal them smartly from the hen, then the Lady Ostrich will lay gradually more. Because the Strauss family and other ratites they play role reversal. Mr. Strauss is cock of the walk at up to six hens. Each of them out of the harem fitted him the nest. The cock broods and then protects the eggs. And after that he is sitting the chiks.
Ostrich farms one could find several in Germany. The largest ratites were already in the early 90ties popular as exotic inhabitants of private enclosures. Later, they were often flown to Germany because of the BSE* crisis. They were looking for a replacement for beef and experimented with ostriches from Africa, Emus and Rheas from Australia from South America. The eggs taste way all similar as the chicken eggs. The Emus could not land in Germany. They are a little smaller than ostriches and put a little smaller, but pretty dark blue to dark green eggs, which mesure 9 cm in diameter and 13 cm length: “These are true rarities that are hard to get for the average consumer,” says Linda Dommes of the german Association of zoos says. In Germany one finds Emus only in zoos or in smaller parks. *Bovine Sponbgiforme Enzephalopathie
The Emus next relatives, the rheas, have well acclimatized in Germany, and settled down in northwest Mecklenburg, “among the people”. Strange to see them standing between deer, cows or other “locals” in the fields of the gentle north German landscape. The hunters who told of this territory invaders, you did not believe the mid-90ties. Officially, the animals first realized at about in the year 2000, they say. Thereafter, development was originally starting from seven animals, which are believed to get lost from a private Farm in Schleswig Holstein. They hopped off the pickup, jumped over that farmers fence and must have swum from his ranch over the river Wakenitz to Mecklenburg Vorpommern – nobody knows exactly what happened today. Only one thing is certain, the birds feel quite comfortable there!
“Meanwhile, they have increased up to 177 animals in the last years,” says environmental planner Frank Philipp. On behalf of the Environment Ministry Schwerin he determined the holdings vigilant since 2008 : “The many canola fields supported their settlement – without a doubt.” Some farmers are not so enthusiastic about the spread of comic birds. They fear for their crops if the ex-Pampa residents consider the sunny yellow of their canola fields as an irresistible temptation. “They trample the possibility the rape blossoms and then the plant can not bear any more fruit,” explained Petra Böttcher, the manager of the local farmers’ association in Northwest Mecklenburg. “Everything so far only half as bad,”claims Nandu Watcher Philipp, “the entire population Nandu destroyed a day about as much as three stray cows.” If above a bud would be devoured, there’ll come down several new from the same shoots. The impact is therefore not as great as that any quantifiable damage would result.
It is the only known Nandu population in Central Europe, which has established itself by eruptions from enclosures in freedom. During an Easter walk one could get them probably closer than a shy deer. Rheas are usually friendly, very curious animals. But in February they begin to lay eggs on, then be careful. The rooster is guarding the pale yellow, roundish formations with attention. Come to him at this time to close, whether Mr. or dog, the animal can become very uncomfortable. Who nevertheless stole the Nandu one of up to 40 eggs, which is liable to prosecution and gets in trouble with the conservation authority. All rheas, the refugees in Meck-Pomm, subject to the CITES.
Same rules for the gulls, pewit- and swan eggs. All of these animals and their products are protected species. “It is also nonsense, wasting eggs of declining species,” says Olaf Nieß, the swan father of Hamburg. He collects all swans around the Alster in late autumn. Along with a few ducks and geese they overwinter then on a small, protected pond in Winterhude, one district of Hamburg. In spring, he brings the animals back in two rowboats on the same path. Shortly before the Krugkoppelbridge at the lake Alster, they managed to hold it any longer. Together they fly full of life under the bridge, like a white cloud, and then spread within seconds around the Alster – a recurring annual natural spectacle in the middle of the city.
At the Alster you encounter the elegant birds already in March, from City Hall market to the far side arms of the lake. “The swans have become the life-changing character of the city, almost like heraldic animals. That’s why they are also regarded so emotional, “explains Nieß. He has taken over the care of the animals for the city from his father. 120 Swans live in its catchment area, around the water vein Hamburg. Sometimes you can see the nests, increased slightly at the water’s edge. Although the animals seek them carefully to hide in the reeds, one discovers here and there a lay up to six eggs. They look grayish chalk-white, 10-12 cm long and 5-8 cm wide. Swans belong to the ducks birds. Their eggs taste like the one from the ducks. If the weather permits, they catch the end of March to create eggs.
As long as it’s wet and moist, the weather keeps many birds back with their egg- releasement, also the geese. “Yet they haven’t laid anyhing and if you’re unlucky, then Easter is nothing in the nest,” says the Eggman on the market. Goose eggs get you – depending on how early or late Easter is falling – then you’ll find tehm at the weekly markets directly by some farmers, or in some poultry and game specialists. They can also be ordered over the internet, at farms which keep geese. The “organic Roseschool reputation” for example, keeps geese to fertilize roses, as lawnmowers and guard dogs, so to speak. “The eggs taste very good, okay, sometimes a little” grassy “but tasty,” says Werner reputation of rose growers. “But we eat them just as hard-boiled eggs, at least eight minutes they need. The egg cup, you can forget. An egg is as fat as a fist and weighs about 200 to 300 grams, “says Ruf.
Ducks were the stars of the egg-layers in the early last century. With 250 to 300 eggs a year they exceeded the time even loosely each chicken at capacity. For this they ate the pesky snails from the salad that they make in China today. Even on command: “Ducks are very docile animals,” explains Hans-Joachim Schleicher, Head of Poultry Division at the Agricultural college of Triesdorf. “You were once the chicken today. Their eggs taste wonderful, whether as soft boiled, scrambled or fried eggs. The yolk is slightly greasy and you have to consume the eggs quickly,”says the chicken specialist.
With the duck eggs Ordinance of 1936, however, the duck-egg-production came to an abrupt end. “The deciding factor was a wedding cake. Just taken at a Black Forest wedding cake, “says Schleicher. In the early 30ties it was made for a wedding party. With a cream from raw duck eggs. Lack cooling nests quickly a salmonella. Half the wedding party suffered from the consequences. “There have been deaths, which ultimately led to the empire-duck-egg-regulation,” Schleicher describes the recorded history. The whole duck attitude was not forbidden, but you could only sell the eggs if they were cooked ten minutes. But these eggs, hard as stones, nobody wanted. Chickens took their place, trimmed more and more on egg production. In Triesdorf Schleicher tries with his team again to go back to races, set the both: eggs and meat supply, to establish a dual-purpose breed.
Breed chicken are almost no longer in the commercial chicken industry. These animals are collectors’ items, such as the Mapuche hens, poultry with the ear bobbles. Put green to turquoise eggs, and are native to South America. They already look interesting, but are not without controversy, says veterinary Dr. Ernst Jutting, out of northern Friesland. “They were bred with one or another defect, so they lack not only the classic tail feathers, but partly the complete tail unit. The real problem, however, are the “Specialities” at the head of the animal. “At the point where the head of the chicken are usually the ear lobe, Araucanians have a roller-like skin fold, growing on the springs, so-called ear bobbles. In addition, green eggs you get now also of “Green stackers”, which are to place domestic fowl with the assessment green eggs, told Jutting.
André Rose, keeper at the Wildlife Park Eekholt near Hamburg, loves chicken. He holds private Araucanians, but without the extreme ear bobbles. He also helds nice big Orloffs and french Maran chickens. The Maran lay entirely chestnut colored eggs, but sometimes they come in XXL. Up to 78g eggs Rose has already found. “In the oviposition in the refrigerator they don’t fit into it. In addition, you have to watch that the Maran laying eggs have clean feet, “says Rose. Namely, when removing dirt from the Maran eggs, you wipe the color. Surprisingly, however, the color remains while cooking. “One big difference I did not taste at my chickens eggs, but all their eggs taste better than the course of the laying battery, because the animals always get fresh food from us, sometimes leftovers. This tastes just all fresh. How the eggs taste always depends on the feeding”, which Rose is convinced.
Christiane Fischer and her husband like quail, the smallest Chicken-birds in Europe. The fisherman operate the “Wachtelhof Fischer”, a farm with 800 quail in the border region between Hessen, Bavaria and Thuringia. At night sometimes a loud: pick-who-wick, pick-who-wick, bothers Mrs. Fischer. Then she can not sleep, because the weather changes, “Three to five days before changing the weather kicks, the quail are shouting” she says, and adds a legend. “For the girls before the quail sounds were quite promising, because the number of quail blows came for them as equal as a marriage oracle.” So it was claimed that the number of quail calls that heard a girl, the forthcoming years signaled until the wedding.
What the little quail all is goof for. She puts small, speckled eggs in different shades of brown, eggs from which Christiane Fischer makes quail-egg-nog. For a pint of it needs about 60 egg yolks, which she separates from whites by hand. “That’s pretty tedious. But you can also eat quail eggs as chicken eggs, so they taste well, “says Fischer. The cooking time of a quail egg is two minutes for soft, medium and three of four for a hard quail. The “little eggs” are just times as large as a big grape.
But there is one also one number smaller, the smallest egg in the world covers the bee hummingbird, a tiny 1.6 to 2 gram bird. It lives in Cuba, where it’s also called Bumblebee or elves Hummingbird. The bird lays eggs as small as peas, five millimeters long and slightly from 0.25 to 0.4 grams. One can marvel at one of the greatest egg collections in the world, in the University of Halle. The oologic reference collection comprises around 20 000 eggs of nearly 4000 species. The eggs should be able to also provide information about environmental factors and climate change, which makes them so interesting around the globe: Egg Collection University of Halle
Beaten completely from the way are quite delicious eggs or roe lumpfish. The caviar delicacy offers a Bremen-based company in emerald green, salmon pink, black or natural color. It comes from Greenland MSC certified and thus from sustainable fisheries, the company insured. The emerald Spawn provide decoration for the rooster tail, the “Greenland Kiss”. The cocktail, which was set up about 200 years ago in Great Britain or in the states – there are several stories about how it starts, but that for sure, in its beginnings it was hip as a tonic for breakfast: Cheers Easter!
2 BL Lumpfish “Wasabi”, 6 cl Maker’s Mark Bourbon, 2cl sugar syrup, 4 cl lemon juice, 600ml guava nectar, lime juice 40ml, 40ml Laphroaig whiskey, 20ml sugar syrup, 100g ProEspuma SOSA frio, 2-3 nitrogen capsules
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