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Food & Drink

Trend We Love: Quail eggs, pickled, smoked, fried, boiled and raw

Trend We Love: Quail eggs, pickled, smoked, fried, boiled and raw
(Image: Gizelle Lau)

Quail eggs have two principal virtues that distinguish them from chicken eggs: they’re tiny and they’re cute. They don’t taste all that different (though the yolk-to-white ratio is a little higher), but they make adorable snacks and appetizers, and come in handy when a whole chicken egg would overpower a dish. And while they’re by no means new, they’ve been popping up all over Toronto menus recently—fried, hard-boiled, pickled, smoked and raw. Here’s where we’ve spotted them of late:

  • At Leslieville’s new wine bar Skin and Bones, chef Matthew Sullivan serves a Mason jar packed with pickled quail eggs and seasonal vegetables and a sprinkle of dill and mustard seeds.
  • Patrick Kriss of Acadia also pickles his quail eggs before slicing them in half and serving them with a salmon entrée.
  • Chef Ryan Gallagher of Reds Wine Tavern tops his pretty angus beef tartare with a raw quail egg (along with shallots, pickles and green onions).
  • Café Boulud’s sunchoke soup is poured tableside over an island of shaved black truffles and honey mushrooms with a tiny fried quail egg peeking out from the middle.
  • As a bar snack, Marben serves a half-dozen hard-boiled quail eggs in a nest of alfalfa sprouts with a celeriac mayo and mustard. The whole dish arrives covered by a smoke-filled dome.
  • Weslodge’s diminutive scotch egg is a hard-boiled quail egg wrapped in chorizo and deep-fried. They serve it with tomato jam and a little black truffle.
  • The Han brothers have long replaced chicken eggs with cute quail eggs in their bi bim bap and soon dubu at Swish; now Baldwin Street newcomer Yakitori Bar is doing the same with its appropriately named “baby bi bim bap.”

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