I wandered into Aubrey’s Meats (59 York St.) in the Byward Market last week and spotted a tray of enormous eggs — each one was at least three times the size of a regular hen’s egg. As it turns out, they were goose eggs. Unbeknownst to me goose eggs are “in season” right now. The birds lay their eggs annually from the beginning of March up until early June.
So while I was still scratching my head about what I would do with them, I bought a pair at $2 each and put them gingerly into my purse. Boy, those babies are big! Cooking them would require a strategy. At the checkout I asked how people eat them. Apparently they can be eaten scrambled or fried like a hen’s egg but one customer claims they also make the best and creamiest milkshakes.
Once I got the eggs home, I decided to seek some more expert advice. I called up Ian Walker from the duck and geese farm Mariposa, located 45 minutes east of Ottawa in Plantagenet, Ontario. He supplies Aubrey’s with the eggs. He says he had a childhood trauma related to eating goose eggs for the first time (don’t ask) so he’d be the wrong guy to discuss the flavour and texture compared to ordinary eggs. This made me a little nervous — like when the chef won’t eat at his own restaurant. I began to think perhaps blogging about goose eggs wasn’t such a good idea. I felt like the curmudgeonly character in Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs & Ham. I didn’t want goose eggs here or there, I didn’t want them anywhere. Ian suggested I call Steve Mitton at Murray Street (110 Murray Street) for a second opinion.
As it happens, Mitton is probably as enthusiastic a goose egg fan as they come. He serves them whenever Ian supplies them. He likes that the whites are clear, not cloudy and cook up super white. He’s been known to fry them or poach them for the crowning glory on the breakfast hash and he will sometimes add the super rich yolks to pasta. He’s also made (giant) Scotch eggs with them and even smoked just the yolk right in the shell and grated it over his pigs’ blood carbonara. He admits some customers have turned up their noses when they marvel at the size and learn the beloved brunchtime staple was swapped out for a goose egg, but most people love it.
As I heated up a large skillet in my kitchen and tossed in a knob of butter, the words of Dr. Seuss rang in my head. You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say.
There was no turning back. I admit I got a kick out of cracking the extra-thick shell on the edge of the large pan and watching the enormous bright yellow yolk stand and shimmer as the whites turned from clear to bright white —spreading out to cover 3/4 of pan’s surface. The yolk broke on its own and began to run into the whites so I let it cook for a few minutes and flipped it with my largest spatula. I turned it out onto a plate and cut into the thickest part with a fork. It had a slick viscous texture like an egg that had been mixed with a glob of petroleum jelly. The edges were crispy and pleasant but the rest was quite rubbery.
I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.