They are one of the best-kept secrets of the baking world, but shoppers have never before been able to buy them on the UK high street.
Next week, however, turkey eggs will go on sale in supermarkets for the first time in response to demand from consumers keen to cook with a growing range of speciality eggs.
Retailers report healthy year-on-year sales of duck, goose, quail and even ostrich eggs as a more interesting and distinctive-tasting alternative to traditional hens' eggs.
Turkey eggs – which will make their debut in Waitrose – have never been sold by retailers because turkeys lay fewer eggs than hens and most of them are used for breeding the Christmas birds.
The chef Jamie Oliver has used turkey eggs in his test kitchens. They are about one and a half times the size of large hens' eggs and are strongly recommended for baking, giving cakes a light and fluffy texture. They are also suitable for soft boiling, scrambling and poaching.
The Waitrose eggs buyer, Frances Westerman, said the supermarket had decided to stock the eggs in response to customer demand
"Turkey eggs are the most asked-for speciality eggs amongst our customers," she said. "They have excellent cooking qualities and, because they are they're bigger than hens' eggs, you need two instead of three to make a really light sponge cake."
The eggs will be on sale in selected Waitrose stores until late August, when the laying season ends, and will cost £1.99 for a pack of two.
Later this month, the chain will also stock rhea eggs – 10 times the size of medium hens' eggs, which take roughly 90 minutes to hard boil – costing £25 each.
Selfridges sells the full range of eggs supplied by the Cornwall-based speciality breeders Clarence Court – goose, ostrich, hens, guinea fowl, quail and duck – endorsed by chefs and restaurateurs such as Mark Hix, who is keen to show the potential of eggs beyond boiling and scrambling.
The store will be stocking gulls' eggs when they come into season later this month, and says its food halls attract a high number of customers looking for speciality goods.
The Selfridges chilled goods buyer, Elizabeth Hastrip said: "We're also seeing a big spike for quail's eggs at present – up 20% on this time last year. Goose eggs have only just come into store, but they're performing about 20% above expectation at the moment."
Of other supermarkets, Sainsbury's stocks duck and quail eggs and reports a year-on-year rise in sales of 10.9% and 1% respectively.
Overall, sales of eggs in the UK grew by 2.6% last year, according to TNS Superpanel data, but Britons still lagged behind many other countries in egg consumption.
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