Duck eggs are all the rage, as they say. In fact, duck eggs have always been hugely popular with bakers as their yolks are so incredibly large (not to mention a vibrant orange in colour), and their whites have more protein than hens' eggs – both of which help cakes to rise, which gives a wonderfully light and fluffy texture and a delicious rich flavour. Duck eggs can be used instead of chicken eggs in any recipe, but don't forget to take into account that they are larger than your average egg from a chook. 

 

What's the difference in flavour between a hen egg and a duck egg? Well there isn't a huge contrast between the two but the latter is richer and has a slightly stronger flavour than that of the average hen egg. 

 

And the gorgeous duck-egg shells, which range in colour from white to the palest of blues, look like something out of a Monet painting . 

 

A past student at the cookery school in Ballymaloe was allergic to hens' eggs but not to those of a duck, so had just recently started enjoying all those cakes and omelettes that she had missed out on all through her childhood. 

 

In RTE's new series Higher Ground, in which a different farmer each week goes through a process of being mentored by two experts in their field (geddit?) to achieve the best results possible for their new business venture, they focused on Brian Phelan from Glenfin farm in Co Monaghan. Brian loved duck eggs but had difficulty in tracking them down, so noticed a gap in the market. He bought 20 ducks to start and plans to build up his flock to 4,000. Judging by the great reaction he got from the retailers and customers, that time will be coming very soon. 

 

Glenfin duck eggs are available at many craft butchers and food shops around Ireland, and also at Avoca, Cavistons, Hicks and Mortons in Dublin, or look at www.glenfinfarm.ie