Rhea's lay huge eggs - a large one weighs about 2lb and is roughly the equivalent of 10 hens' eggs

 

This week I've been eating...rhea eggs

First things first, what exactly is a rhea? There's no reason at all that you should know that it's like a less showy but no less unpredictable version of an ostrich, which runs like the clappers but can't get so much as an inch off the ground.

What is worth knowing is that they produce eggs, massive ones. A large one weighs about 2lb and is roughly the equivalent of 10 hens' eggs. Eye-watering for them, but an interesting meal for us.

Admittedly as I prepared mine on Monday there was an element of machismo at play. You need a humongous pot to boil it – frying is a no-no – and have to be patient with the china-like shell and the half-hour wait before it's soft-boiled (as I mentioned, not easy, this egg). But once you're in, there are rewards. The flavour is more complex and daintier than a hen's egg, going well with asparagus soldiers. But it's not, I fear, the most practical of morning delectations, especially not at £25 a crack. clarencecourt.co.uk

Bubbly dazzler

Nyetimber British sparkling wine has been voted best sparkler three times at the International Wine and Spirit competition, was served at the London G20 and is often the wine at royal receptions, but until this week I'd never tried it. Now I have, I intend to do so again and again. The 2006 cuvée is remarkable, collating tingly citrus with creamy, summery fruit flavours to make a tart, attention-grabber which I wish I'd had with strawberries. I didn't have any but, as I say, I'm not done with Nyetimber yet. £29, nyetimber.com

Crust busters

Crusts on quiches are like their brethren on most pizzas – something to leave on the side of the plate, unloved and untouched. Higgidy has come up with a good wheeze, then, by chopping them off its quiches altogether. The eccentric company, started by Camilla Stephens in 2003, has lopped the edges off the English bacon and Cheddar, and spinach and feta and roasted red pepper versions, and the lack of visible pastry makes them seem that bit more virtuous. £3.99, higgidy.co.uk

Berry nice pud

Cartmel, near the Lake District, means two things to me. Muddy-kneed walks up the village's hill, which seemed like Everest as a child, and sticky toffee pudding from the shop, the one invariably following the other. The first seems nice now but was boring at the time, but the pudding was always lovely. Not for summer, though. No bother: Cartmel Village Shop now sells fruit pudding. A crimson jewel, whose spiky red-, blackcurrant and raspberry tones stage a frontal attack on your taste buds, before settling to a silky sweetness. £3.25, cartmelvillageshop.co.uk

Royal reversal

A couple of weeks back I mocked the outbreak of Jubilee-themed madness that had spread like a forest fire through foodie-land (royal Tabasco, anyone?). But there is an acceptable face of jubilee food: Millie's Jubilee cookies. You get 18 biccies, iced with the Queen's visage, in their own tin. Very cute and very tasty. £9.99, milliescookies.com

s.muston@independent.co.uk

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