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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Head in the Sand

Quite a few years ago, MB took me out to dinner for my birthday.  We went to the now-closed Roosevelt's Blue Star in Doylestown.  I thought I'd go for something a little different and ordered the ostrich steak.  I don't remember exactly how it was prepared--it had some sort of sauce made with cherries or raspberries or something like that--but I do remember that it was very tasty.

If you've never had ostrich, you have to remind yourself that you're eating a bird.  It has the color and consistency of beef.  Of course, those who sell ostrich tout that the meat, like poultry, is very low in cholesterol and calories, but has the taste like red meat. 

According to a Wall Street Journal article about the one New York-based ostrich farm, Roaming Acres, the local food movement--as well as some people's growing food-adventurousness (is that a word?)--is making ostrich a more popular ingredient in both home and restaurant kitchens.

In addition to the meat, ostrich eggs are growing in popularity.  These huge eggs--the equivalent to about 24 chicken eggs--are best prepared scrambled.  And best fed to a crowd.  They cost about $20 each and weigh about 4 pounds.

Interestingly, the farmer in the article tells how ostriches can be very temperamental when it comes to laying eggs.  They simply won't lay them unless there's plenty of sunshine.  And with the rainy spring, the normal laying time that usually begins in late March or early April, didn't start until about Memorial Day. 

The reluctance of these egg-layers cost the farm about $150,000, according to the article.  But things got back on track over the summer (until the last few weeks, I assume). 

So next time you're out and see ostrich on the menu (perhaps at the Spinnerstown Hotel), give it a try!

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