We moved to New Zealand to find the good life. We found the good egg.
The New Zealand egg, fresh from the hen, sporting a good bit of whatever that is that is cleaned off of American eggs before they reach those pristine styrofoam cartons, big as life and, oftentimes, neither fully white nor fuly brown, could easily be a metaphor for all that is great about the NZ lifestyle. Gorgeous, delicious and not always what you expect.
The eggs here are dirty. At least the ones I’ve been getting. Whether they’re from a nearby farm stand or our neighbor’s chickens, they’ve got a bit of this and a bit of that that I’d rather not think about on the shell. Not to mention a feather or two on occasion. Nothing a quick wipe with a vinegar-soaked paper towel won’t fix, though. My NZ lifestyle’s a bit dirty as well. Mucking about in the vege garden gets one a bit dirty. And everyone’s got a vege garden. Loaded with cabbages and brussels sprouts and all manner of things that New Zealanders seem to actually eat! I’m not complaining… these are the sorts of foods I love.
The eggs here are big! Or very small! At least that’s been my experience. I’ve found a few mediums here and there as well. When my recipe calls for 2 large eggs, I’ve got to think a bit and rummage around in the egg basket for what I imagine the equivalent of 2 large eggs is at that moment. One of the rather large ones and one of the very small ones ought to do. And the banana muffins turned out great! My life here seems to be a bit like that, too, so far. Making do with this or that and having things turn out great.
The eggs I get come in a few colors as well. Of course there’s white and brown. But the white eggs don’t seem nearly as white as their American counterparts. And my brown eggs range from lightly beige to full on brown. And green. I love the green eggs. They’re not terribly green, mind you. Just a lovely green cast that makes you stop and look.
But what’s really amazing about NZ eggs is the way they taste. First take a look at a freshly cracked egg. The yolk is nearly Halloween orange. It’s that way from the hen’s diet. She’s likely eating bugs, greens and whatever she can scrounge up. The way nature intended. That yolk is going to be full of beta-carotene and omega-3 fats. Much healthier to eat. And the taste is not like any eggs I’ve had before. Believe me. You just have to try one…
We also get duck eggs from a friend. These are lovely. They’re about the size of the largest chicken eggs I get. But do really look different. The yolks are the same bright orange. But the whites are quite clear. And they cook up quite bright white!
So lately it’s been eggs for breakfast — fried and scramble — and eggs for lunch — hard-boiled and deviled. I’ve even made some gorgeous mayonnaise. Maybe I should fix eggs for dinner tonight. Fresh herbed frittata it is!