Concha y Toro

Ania Smolec 11/09/2018

The Legendary Blue Eggs from Araucanía

The Chilean hen from the Araucanía region is known for the colorful eggshells that delight gastronomy lovers.


There are different breeds of chickens, which lay smaller or larger eggs, with a pale yellow yolk or a deep yellow one. But there are also chickens that lay blue eggs. Yes, it is not necessary to wait for the Easter season. The Chilean hen from the Araucanía region is known for the colorful eggshells that delight gastronomy lovers.

Thanks to the work of the academics of the University of Chile, together with the University of Nottingham, today we know that the Mapuche hen is a distant cousin of the Chinese Dongxiang. Between 200 and 500 years ago, a retrovirus caused a genetic mutation that originated the first blue eggs in the so-called Mapuche hen of South America and its descendants in Europe. The effect was an accumulation of a bluish-green bile pigment called biliverdin in the egg shell and, of course, also the beginning of a culinary legend.

huevos azules 2

The Mapuche hen does not have a tail and wears feathers even in the ears, which look like a kind of earrings. Yes, they are very flirtatious. But not only the color is what differentiates their eggs. These are characterized by having a larger yolk and a harder shell. However, its fame has to do with its pro-healthy characteristics, because these eggs would not produce cholesterol. That is why they are so demanded by gourmet stores, pastry shops and, above all, by athletes.

The explanation is simply amazing. For centuries, the Mapuche people have fed their chickens with algae. Thanks to this practice, blue eggs are rich in DHA (a polyunsaturated fatty acid that maintains the balance of our fat in the blood). In addition, they are a rich source of protein, iodine and essential vitamins.

“Ab ovo” or “from the beginning,” as the Romans used to say, is a millennial food. Already in ancient Rome the first omelets were prepared. From the 4th century, the church encourages the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ with the eggs as its main symbol. In the Middle Ages, with the flourishing of culinary art, egg recipes reach new levels of sophistication. In the seventeenth century, in France, the kogel is born, that is, the famous dessert of yolks, sugar and fragrance of lemon peel.

Huevos benedictinos
Benedictine eggs

From there, nothing stops the popularity of the egg. It quickly reaches an international status and is shared certain styles and standards of preparation: fried, soft-boiled, hard, scrambled or cooked 3 minutes “à la coque”. The latter was one of the favorite breakfasts of Louis XV, so much so that he ordered the not very elegant breeding of chickens in Versailles.

An interesting form of preparation is the Benedictine eggs, served with the classic hollandaise sauce. Also, its Florentine variation, where the bacon is replaced by spinach. But, where culinary art reaches new heights, they are with mollet eggs, which at the bottom are semi-hard eggs, boiled for 5 minutes in water and then left in cold water.

In each French cookbook that is respected, there is a chapter dedicated only to recipes with eggs, such as mayonnaise (comes from the term moyeu, used in medieval France), omelets, soufflés, desserts and, above all, a wide variety of sauces that pay homage to this rich food, such as the Italian carbonara or the French bernaise.


However, it is in the omelets where the egg shines and covers practically all the cuisines of the world. This simple preparation, which is nothing other than yolks and whites mixed with salt, water or milk and sometimes flour, acquires infinite personalities. The predominant flavor of the omelet, the intensity of its accents, will show us the way to make different pairings. A dangerous relationship (most experts say that the egg is an enemy of wine), but when it is well established, it can cause magical sensations on the palate.