Now that I not only have my own home to garden in, but we’ve also moved back to within driving distance of my family’s ‘cottage’, I’m full steam ahead on the wild food train! Wooowooooo 🙂
I’ve always eaten a variety of wild foods from the aforementioned cottage. Although, I should explain that the term cottage is used loosely. What it is, in fact, is a 44-acre former gravel pit. Heavily forested, but also containing 3 lakes covering about 10 of the 44 acres, and 3 powerless, waterless cabins. In other words, heaven on earth.
The lakes have bass that are abundant and tasty. The open gravel areas are usually a carpet of oregano and thyme with wild onions every now and then. The roadsides are covered with raspberries, blackberries and wild grapes. Go in a bit and you’ll usually find a highbush cranberry or two, some gooseberries and ramps. By far the most coveted finds as a child were the spring fiddleheads and the fall puffball mushrooms.
This weekend, I went to a whole new level of wild with my food. I ate a goose egg! I wish I had taken my own picture, but the acquisition was sort of a surprise so you’ll have to look at this Googled picture. One of the lakes I was mentioning has an island in the middle that’s been prime goose-nesting grounds for 30 years. This year my Uncle ventured a peek inside the nest.
In case you’re curious, mama geese will continue to lay eggs until they get a brood of hatchlings, because nest predators are not uncommon. So I haven’t ruined this whole generation! But, it’s also important to keep in mind that the later the goslings hatch, the less time they have to mature before winter so there’s a limit to be respected.
I fried my egg overhard (I prefer my yolks yolky, but since I’ve never eaten a wild goose egg before and I’m nursing, I decided to err on the side of caution) and I have to say it was still very yummy. Pretty much like a good farmer’s market chicken egg, only biiigger. About 2-3 times the size. The shell is a lot thicker too. And others have said they found the yolk denser, but like I said, compared to a good pastured chicken egg, it’s pretty similar.
Nutritionally though, they’re apparently quite a bit denser. Weight for weight, the goose egg has more selenium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. It has twice the iron, twice the thiamin and FOUR times as much B12 and SEVEN times the Omega 3. It’s ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is about 1:1 whereas the chicken egg is about 1:15.* Basically a multivitamin in a shell.
All in all, I’d say it was a very good long weekend. And I even brought some ferns home so I can have fiddleheads in my backyard next year.
*I do wonder if this data would differ for pastured eggs, from chickens allowed to forage for a biologically appropriate diet, but I couldn’t find any good info on that.