|A farm market in Germany, July 2015|
Last weekend I went to the farmer's market in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Located on Market Square in front of city hall, the market has operated continuously since 1753. George Washington sent produce from Mt Vernon to be sold in Market Square. For the first hundred years or so nearby markets sold farmers until the 1860's- a history we still struggle with how to talk about. The market operates year around, but really starts to come alive this time of the year with fresh local lettuce and asparagus coming in.
The Chicken Man, was there selling eggs. He keeps birds across the river in Maryland. He takes great care and pride in raising healthy, happy birds. For the first time he had duck eggs in addition to chicken eggs. I don't think I have ever had duck eggs - so I bought a dozen. I may have found a new love. For several years I have lamented that chicken eggs don't have the flavors I remember as a child. The variety of hens, the feed, the living conditions all impact the egg. Eggs in Europe have more flavor. Don't get me started on American factory farmed - mass produced so they can be sold for 99-cents a dozen chicken eggs - the product is tasteless and the living conditions for the birds is beyond barbaric. I refuse to buy them. Cage free, free range, organic, words to look for, I want birds that have actually been out in the sun and had their feet on the ground in their lifetime.
Back to the duck eggs, rich, flavorful. The shells are tough, I was wondering if I would need to get out the clever to break through the shell. The whites of the eggs are thick. I slightly burned them, but the flavor stood through. I hope Duane is able to keep a steady supply of these through the year.