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The eggs can be used to amaze and mystify children.
You’ve probably seen the display of ostrich and emu eggs at the green-awninged Roaming Acres Farm at the Greenmarkets. The ostrich eggs are bone-white, strangely shiny, and of unbelievable girth. In fact, an ostrich yolk is the world’s largest cell. Part of a group of flightless birds known as ratites (note good rock-band name), ostriches are native to Africa, but are now widely distributed among the continents, as the farmers’ market booth attests.
They’re not giving them away! What’s that purplish-black egg in the lower right-hand corner? It’s an emu egg, not nearly as big or exciting as an ostrich egg.
At $30 they’re not cheap, but ostrich eggs make great conversation starters, if you can get beyond the uneasy impression that something is wrong, in a kind of science-fiction sort of way. Call the cops if you see one in, say, Central Park, and a squad car will come to defuse it within minutes. Get caught with one in church, and you will be speedily evicted.
Yes, it’s very tempting to become an ostrich egg owner. But once you have it, what do you do with it? Here are 10 suggestions.
1. At an average of 3.1 pounds, ostrich eggs are 20 times the weight of a chicken egg. Break the egg, and make a giant skilletful of scrambled eggs. Sprinkle grated cheese on the top if desired.
2. Buy the largest frying pan you can find, spray on the Pam, and make a giant fried egg. Assignment 1: Cook the yolk through. Assignment 2: Cook it sunny-side up and feed it to a very hungry friend (you’ll need a very large spatula, too).
3. For target practice, throw the egg at a running ostrich. Don’t worry, you won’t hit it: Ostriches are capable of running 60 miles per hour, bobbing and weaving. Don’t get in the way!
4. Use the egg, or eggs if you can afford them, to “egg” someone’s house. Some suggestions for picking the house you want to egg: Charlie Sheen, Osama bin Laden, Michael Bloomberg, Leni Riefenstahl.
5. Boil it, paint it, and roll it on the lawn for Easter. You just missed it.
Don’t let the egg slip from your grasp, especially when you’re holding it as you lean out the window.
Where you can buy ostrich eggs, or emu eggs if you prefer, empty or gamete-encumbered.
6. Boil it for two hours, peel it, and make egg salad with an entire jar of mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip if you live west of the Mississippi).
7. Make sure the egg you buy is fertilized. (No! Don’t try to do it yourself!) Put it under your mattress and let it gestate for 20 days, warmed by the heat of your body. Break the egg open and enjoy the crunchy gestating fetal ostrich, the way balut is enjoyed in the Philippines.
8. Make a tea-smoked egg by soaking the boiled egg in five gallons of strong tea.
9. Boil the ostrich egg and peel it, then cut the egg into eighths. Use it to garnish a potato salad made with whole peeled Idaho potatoes.
10. Mount the egg on your wall, and invite all your friends with handguns to try shooing it from 20 feet away, but only if your apartment is that big.
Anybody for some ostrich pet treats or ostrich oil?
Next: Instructional video on how to break and cook the ostrich egg …