Ostrich eggs are the largest bird eggs of the largest known living bird species, the common ostrich (Struthio camelus). One ostrich egg is said to easily weigh up to 1.4 kg, the equivalent weight of 28 large chicken eggs at 50 g each. This makes this particular type of egg a rather impractical breakfast choice since one person cannot eat one whole ostrich egg in one sitting. Nevertheless, the egg variety is slowly starting to gain popularity as it sparks the interesting of foodies everywhere. And this begs the question: what are ostrich eggs good for? And how are they different compared to chicken eggs?
What do ostrich eggs look like?
Ostrich eggs are large, cream-colored and round rather than the typical ovoid shape. Ostrich eggshell is thicker than that of most other egg varieties and shiny, with tiny indentations like needle points. An average egg is about 15 cm long and 12-13 cm wide. The yolk to egg white ratio is higher compared to chicken eggs and the yolk is visibly extremely large. Depending on the source of ostrich eggs (wild or farmed) which determines the birds’ diet (natural diet or various feed combinations), the yolk may be various shades of yellow-orange. There are also bits or clumps of translucent egg white which you don’t see in chicken and other eggs.
How much does an ostrich egg weigh? Like any other eggs, ostrich too can vary in size, but typically weigh around 1.4 kg per egg, with larger eggs weighing up to 2.2 kg. Volume vise, the insides of one average ostrich egg weighing 1.4 kg amount to 20-24 chicken eggs. This is why one person or even two cannot eat one whole egg in one sitting.
What do ostrich eggs taste like?
Taste depends on the bird’s diet. Wild ostrich eggs taste a little gamy and have a richer flavor. Farmed ostrich eggs will taste less gamy and more like chicken eggs, although still a bit richer and with a more gelatinous texture mainly due to the clumps of translucent egg white. The difference in taste occurs because eggs sourced from the wild are a product of specific diets consisting of seeds, grass, shrubs, flowers or fruits which lend a specific taste to the yolk and egg white. Farmed ostriches may receive specific feeds, sometimes very similar to those of chickens, hence the similarities in taste.
Ideally, you should only get your ostrich eggs and meat from farms so there are no ill-effects on the already declining wild populations of the bird species. Although plenty of ostrich farmers feed their ostriches chicken-like feed, they can also successfully feed them diets that are very similar to what they naturally eat, so farmed ostrich eggs and meat can retain their original gamy flavors. It’s all about good farming practices. Of course, ostrich eggs cost a lot, given their weight and relative scarcity of the product on the market. Ostriches lay eggs from March till the beginning of September, so that’s when they are available and a mature hen will lay an average of 40-60 eggs a year. Not to mention the closer their feed to their natural diets, the higher the production costs and egg price.
Ostrich eggs recipe ideas
Ostrich eggs are edible. You can cook and eat them just like you would chicken, duck, goose, turkey, quail or any other egg variety (see more egg varieties). Some recipes will bring out the particular flavor of this egg, others will tone it down. Although some people might not even distinguish the taste of an ostrich egg from farmed sources from that of a chicken egg. You can make scrambled ostrich egg flavored with salt and pepper and thinned with milk to cut down on the richness of the egg. However, the clumps of translucent egg white will still be present and quite visible, so expect that. One average scrambled ostrich egg can yield 10-12 servings. If you fry an ostrich egg, which is not an easy task, it will taste quite rich from the added oil. To break an egg, you need to either cut the top off with a serrated knife or simply use a hammer or a hammer and chisel.
How long does it take to boil an ostrich egg?
Average sized eggs at around 1.4-1.5 kg take 45 minutes to an hour to cook to soft-boiled and anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes to cook hard-boiled. Larger eggs, 2 kg or more, may need up to 2 hours to cook until hard-boiled. If you start the egg in cold water, it will take longer to cook, especially since you have to keep adding water as it evaporates given the long cooking time. If you start the egg in boiling water in an extremely large pot, you can reduce cooking time by even half an hour. Because of its weight, this particular variety takes very long to cook whole. Overall, it can be cooked like any other egg variety.
Ostrich eggs nutrition
The most important nutritional facts you need to know about ostrich eggs:
– Rich in calories, fats and protein
– Source of saturated fats and cholesterol
– Important source of Omega-3 fatty acids
– Rich in B vitamins, especially vitamins B9 and B12 and choline
– High in protein and contain all essential amino acids
– Contain good amounts of vitamin A and D and small amounts of vitamins E and K
– Rich in dietary minerals, especially phosphorus, potassium and iron
– Ostrich eggs don’t have any fiber (this is a myth perpetuated by those with no nutritional education) and no vitamin C
What are the health benefits of ostrich eggs?
Despite the fact that we know less on ostrich egg nutrition than we do chicken, quail, duck, turkey or goose, they are still eggs with the same making and very similar properties. Consumption provides benefits for the brain and nervous system, digestive system, immunity, muscles, bones and energy metabolism. Like all eggs, ostrich too are indicated in pregnancy for the high nutrition they provide.
1) Rich source of protein. The egg whites supply important amounts of quality protein containing all essential amino acids the human body needs and cannot live without. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscles and eating ostrich eggs is good for creating new muscle and repairing damaged muscle fibers as well as sustaining physical activity. Amino acids are also essential for nervous system health and help synthesize important neurotransmitters for the brain that regulate mood, appetite and sleep.
2) Satiating food, supports weight loss. Because of their protein and fat content, ostrich eggs are satiating without filling you up. They provide good, lasting nutrition and can be a good tool for weight loss if eaten in moderate amounts as part of an overall healthy, varied and balanced diet. The egg white is richest in protein and has almost no fat, making it a better choice for weight loss than the whole egg.
3) Food for the brain. All eggs are made up to contain important amounts of fat and protein which provide lasting nutrition for the brain. One such fat, cholesterol, and vitamin B12 in ostrich eggs help make up the protective myelin sheath surrounding the tail of nerve cells. Choline, also found in generous amounts in the variety, further helps support brain function and cognitive effort by maintaining the structural integrity of cells. Eating ostrich and other eggs can help reduce brain fog, boost learning and productivity.
4) Source of coenzyme Q10 and Omega-3. Known for its antioxidant properties, coenzyme Q10 fight premature aging and holds benefits for cardiovascular health in particular. Research considers it an essential element in modern diets. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, the yolks of ostrich eggs provide benefits for the brain, sustaining nervous system activity and support cardiovascular health, with benefits for HDL and total cholesterol levels.
5) Rich in iron, potassium, phosphorus and a good source of magnesium. Available data suggests ostrich eggs are an important source of heme iron and give vitality and boost energy levels. The good amounts of potassium make them a good choice for high blood pressure, while phosphorus is good for strong bones. Magnesium contributes to mental health, reducing anxiety and relieving insomnia and prevents arrhythmia. Other important minerals in ostrich eggs include selenium for thyroid health, calcium for bones, zinc for immunity, copper and manganese for antioxidant protection.
6) Contain vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12, vitamins A, D, E and K and no vitamin C. The B vitamin profile of ostrich eggs is better represented than that of all other vitamins and contributes to elevated energy levels. Vitamins A and D boost immunity. Available data suggests ostrich eggs compared to chicken eggs contain slightly less of the other vitamins, but more nutritious feeds can make up for such differences quite nicely and boost vitamin profile. Most of the vitamins are contained in the yolk.
7) Good in pregnancy. Cooked ostrich eggs are a source of vitamins B9 and B12 which help normal brain development of babies in the womb. Vitamin B9 is also known to prevent neural tube defects of the brain, spinal cord and spine in newborns. Fats further contribute to brain development, but the eggs are best eaten in moderation to prevent weight gain. One average ostrich eggs is estimated to have 2,000 kcal.
Ostrich vs chicken eggs comparison
Ostrich eggs compared to chicken eggs are said to have more calories, less cholesterol and less saturated fats as well as less of several vitamins, notably vitamins A and E, but more selenium and more Omega-3. There is no vitamin C and no dietary fiber in ostrich eggs or any other eggs. But what the birds eat can have big effects on the resulting nutritional profile of the eggs and the health benefits they provide. Also see Quail Eggs vs Chicken Eggs: Which Is Better for Health?
Where to get ostrich eggs?
If you live in the US and have a Whole Foods near you, then they often supply ostrich eggs for sale from March to September. Trader Joe’s has also been known to supply the eggs when they’re in season. Ostrich farms also sell the eggs online, so it’s a good idea to contact local ostrich farms or those nearest to you if you are looking to try them.
How much do ostrich eggs cost? Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s were known to supply 1.4 kg eggs at 20 dollars a piece. In Europe, the same size ostrich eggs cost 25 € or £20. Some producers offer them at 40-45 dollars an egg. Larger eggs can go for even 75 or 150 dollars. When getting the eggs online, also consider shipping costs.
What is the size of an ostrich egg?
One average ostrich egg is about 13 cm wide and 15 in length. Larger eggs can be over 20 cm long and have over 40 cm in diameter. How many chicken eggs equal one ostrich egg? One whole ostrich egg with the thick eggshell weighing 1.4 kg equals 28 large chicken eggs at 50 g an egg. Volume vise, the inside egg white and yolk are the equivalent of 20-24 large chicken eggs at around 50 g each.