Randomly, while driving back home from a weekend near Veliko Turnovo, I saw a sign for the Blue Ostrich Farm in Brestnitza, near Lovech. In my mind, I imagined a sprawling landscape with ranchers wearing cowboy hats and leather boots astride a giant ostriches… but in reality it was a just that a small farm filled with giant birds in the middle of a village. To be honest, I wasn’t really interested in observing ostriches in Bulgaria, rather I was hoping they would be selling ostrich eggs. I have never eaten ostrich or the eggs for that matter, but I felt I had to do it, I needed to make an ostrich egg omelet!
Stefan Danailov the owner of Blue Ostrich Farm is no stranger to notoriety. He has his own wall of fame at the farm, which he shares with his birds.
During the tour, he told us many thing about these birds, but the one fact that he found most interesting was the color of their legs. Like other birds in the animal kingdom, the male has the flashiest duds! On the legs of the male ostrich, they are marked with red scales, it is these colorful gams that seduce the drab gray colored females and get them in to the
sack nest. He also talked about their egg laying habits, which peaked my interest. The female community on the farm lay between 25 – 30 eggs during the March – July laying season.These three lb (1.4kg) eggs are the largest eggs in existence, with the yolk considered one of the largest single cells.
I was quite curious about how his ostrich farm came to pass. What are African birds doing in Brestnitza? So he let me ask a few questions, my first question was why ostriches? Danailov said that for the last 11 years, he has had a deep love for these ancient animals. He could speak volumes on the birds themselves, but was quite skittish when I asked how he happened have ostriches in Bulgaria… There was a chill, so I switched my questioning to food.
The farm doesn’t sell the meat of the birds, only the eggs, which are 30lv a piece, but contains the equivalent of about 30 chicken eggs inside. They keep well in the fridge for up to 6 months, but for me I would prefer the fresher one. On the farm, there is a menu of items that you can order and they are for the most part all ostrich! I asked Danailov what was his favorite ostrich meal and the answer was Stroganoff a la ostrich!
After we bought the egg, we were given an extremely specific and detailed account of how to open and remove the egg filling with out damaging the shell. Danailov even provided us with a nail that made the perfect hole in the shell. Angel took all the details and we followed them to a “T”!
When the idea of eating an ostrich egg first presented itself, I was kind of grossed out… I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Even Angel was teetering a bit and he will eat anything. We procrastinated cooking something with the egg for almost 10 days. It was sitting in the refrigerator taunting us… we just couldn’t bring ourselves to eat it. We had company one weekend, it seemed like the perfect time to make a giant egg. At first, we thought we would just serve them the egg and then tell them it was from an ostrich, but decided against that since we didn’t want to be jerks. They were cool with our culinary experimentations.
The hardest part or the process was blowing out the egg. I have done this with chicken eggs, but 30oz or about a liter of yolk and white… quite a task after a boozy saturday night. When all was said and done, I used a pitcher for the egg, so I could easily pour it in the pan. I made seven large omelets and still have plenty left over, so we call Angel’s brother to breakfast, because we were all stuffed.
So, what did it taste like… the flavor was lighter and the texture was fluffier than I would have expected, yet I couldn’t really chow down… my mind kept focusing on the ostrich! One word to the wise about blowing the egg out… strain the eggs before using, so the shell fragments are removed. The last omelet that we made was crunchy with the fragments from drilling the hole. Angel’s brother didn’t really enjoy the gritty sensation between his teeth, yet it didn’t stop him from finishing his breakfast.
Mr. Stefan Danailov
Brestnica village, Lovech region
Tel: + 359 (0)6994388
Моб: +359 (0)889982650