Ready to up your egg dyeing game this spring? Whether you are decorating eggs as part of an Easter tradition or to celebrate other springtime rites, farmers tailgate markets have lots of options. Shop for an assortment of sizes—from tiny quail eggs to giant goose eggs—for a unique basket.
If you visited Asheville City Market this past week, you may have sampled goose eggs cooked by guest chef Michael Gentry. They were from Myseanica Family Farm, which also offers an array of microgreens, veggies, and textiles. Goose eggs are about twice as large as chicken eggs and have much harder shells. If you’re cooking with goose eggs, you can replace two chicken eggs in a recipe with one goose egg. Hard boiling will take a few minutes longer, about 15 minutes. Place in ice water to cool thoroughly before peeling. After your egg hunt, we highly recommend turning goose eggs into giant deviled eggs!
Duck eggs fall in between chicken and goose eggs in size. You can replace three chicken eggs in a recipe with two duck eggs. For hard boiled, cook for 12 minutes. Like goose eggs, duck eggs have a higher yolk-to-white ratio and a stronger flavor. Look for duck eggs from Headwaters Market Garden at Asheville City Market.
Quail eggs fall at the other end of the spectrum. These tiny speckled gems don’t really need added decoration, but you can dye them for a colorful, marbled look. Quail eggs cook very quickly—three and a half minutes for hard boiled. Cool the eggs in ice water, then gently roll them on the countertop to crack the shell. Look for quail eggs from The Wild Way Farm at North and West Asheville markets.
Of course, standard chicken eggs are widely available at all markets as well. Wondering if you can dye brown eggs? Yes, you can! You can get vibrant, jewel-toned eggs using regular food coloring or natural, food-based dyes. (Pictured are brown eggs from Dry Ridge Farm dyed using food coloring and vinegar.) If you want to try your hand at natural dyes, look for beets, red cabbage, onion skins, and turmeric root.
At farmers markets now you’ll also find carrots, parsnips, turnips, radishes, winter greens like kale, spinach, mustards, and bok choy, as well as tender lettuce and baby greens. Markets are also stocked with a variety of meats, cheese, rice, pasta, pastries, drinks, and prepared foods. Find more details about farms and markets throughout the region in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.