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Food by VICE

Emu Eggs Are Trending with Top Chefs and Gym Bros

One emu egg is roughly eight times the size of a chicken's—and half of that's the yolk.

by Gavin Butler
16 October 2018, 12:12am

Image via Shutterstock

Ever wish eggs were like, eight times bigger? That you could feed an entire family with just one? That the whole thing contained enough protein in one single hit to give you those gym gains you’ve been chasing?

Well, you’ll be pleased to know that emu eggs are the next big thing: and when I say big, I mean disgustingly so. An average one of these googs weighs in at about 600 grams, is made up of fifty percent yolk, and retails for somewhere in the vicinity of $25 to $50. According to the ABC, a growing number of people around Australia—including chefs at some of the country’s top restaurants—are desperate to get their hands on some of these super-sized bird ovums.

Emu farmer Stephan Schmidt claims to have sold 500 eggs in the first week he took them to market this winter, and 3,000 in the nearly three months since. Most of those customers have apparently been older retirees, for some reason—but Stephan suggests a healthy contingent of young bodybuilders are also showing interest in the product as a unique source of protein.

“If they were doing what I was doing, they wouldn't need their shakes: I was drinking them raw,” he said. "I have them as a milkshake, just raw, with a bit of chocolate milk and honey. Made a smoothie out of it."

The My Fitness Pal app estimates that a standard emu egg contains about 24 grams of protein, or four times that of a standard chicken egg. They’re also estimated to contain about eight times as much fat, though—making them a rather indulgent way to whip up a frittata.

That touch of decadence could explain the interest from a number of Australia’s fine-dining eateries. Emu farmer Bev Turner, for one, says the demand has been so high from some of Melbourne’s top restaurants that she’s had to consider expanding her operation.

"We can't keep up supply," she said. "We would like to get more emus; the demand is definitely there… [even] television programs are asking for the eggs: we've had requests from Survivor and My Kitchen Rules."

Ash Martin, chef at Queensland’s Homage restaurant, uses the eggs as a garnish for meats, or in the form of a lemon-myrtle marshmallow. He attributes the surge in popularity to a newfound fascination with cuisine that uses native Australian flora and fauna.

"People will bend over backwards to try and get native Australian ingredients on their menus,” he says, “and emu eggs are one of those things.”