Flickr: Nick Berlin

Ostrich Eggs Are Ginormous and Historical

We've all eaten chicken eggs more times than we can count, and some have even had duck eggs or fish eggs. But have you ever had an ostrich egg? Ostriches are the biggest bird in the world, and their eggs also ginormous- the size of about 24 chicken eggs! Plus, their eggshells have been used for a variety of things since the beginning of time.

Along with being the largest bird, ostriches are ratites, meaning that they don't fly. Some other ratites are the rhea, emu and kiwi. Emu eggs are another rare bird egg, about half the size of that of an ostrich.

Ostrich eggs are edible, but they're not the most practical meal. The American Ostrich Association estimates that it takes 90 minutes to hard boil an ostrich egg, and as for frying one into an omelet, few people have a skillet big enough for 24 chicken eggs.

Along with this, the shell is so hard that you'd need a hammer to break it. However, if you find a way around all of these barriers, the egg will provide 2000 calories and a large amount of iron, calcium and magnesium. However, it contains less vitamin A and vitamin E than chicken eggs.

Although eating an ostrich's egg may be impossible without a hammer and a giant skillet, ostrich meat is one of the healthiest red meats out there. It has a similar flavor to premium cuts of beef and is lean and flavorful.

Where to Obtain an Ostrich Egg

Since these giant eggs are so much larger and rarer than those of chickens, they're also more expensive, often about $30 an egg. This website sells fresh ostrich eggs for $75, as a creative way to feed a group or try a new food. One review said,

"OMG we had so much fun with the ostrich egg. It was a blast getting it open so we could see how big the yolk was to getting it divided up to cook. We made scrambled egg and French toast. We had a great breakfast with some bacon and sausage. It fed 10 people and only 2 were kids under 8. Everyone loved the taste of the ostrich egg and they are already talking about wanting to do it again!!"

Although the eggs are hard to find, ostrich egg shells are more accessible, and are often used for arts and crafts. They're commonly used in North Africa as home decor, for roofs or chandeliers. These huge eggshells are also decorated as Easter eggs, with decoupage, or used in jewelry as a unique gift. Ostrich feathers are also popular for decorating and costumes. To buy an ostrich egg shell, check out Amazon or head to American Ostrich Farms, who also sells related products like ostrich soaps, oils and meat.

History of Ostrich Eggs

?These huge eggs have been used throughout time for a variety of uses. Many archaeological sites have found shells being used to store and transport liquids like water and paint. They were also used as tools, carved into arrowheads and potter combs.

Along with these, ostrich eggshells have been used medicinally, to ward against a number of illnesses. They were also seen as symbols of fertility and prosperity among the Ancient Greek. Interestingly, ostrich eggshells are used in graves in many cultures, symbolizing resurrection and immortality.

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