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Great tasting eggs, disappointing poultry farm
Price: 500 yen
The local story goes that a famous Michelin 3 star restaurant owner chef in France chose the eggs at Yabe Poultry Farm for the signature egg dish of his restaurant. It is a very misleading story. I imagine that the owners of Yabe Poultry Farm didn't intentionally deceive people, but that it is more of a case of "Chinese whispers" or inaccurately transmitted gossip.
The actual story seems to be that the chef, Alain Passard of L'Arpége in Paris, uses the same type of egg that is raised in the rural poultry farm, for his signature egg dish L'Arpege which has been referred to as the best egg dish in the world. His eggs, however, are sourced locally in Paris and from what I can tell he has never been to Kawajima Town in Saitama. Some of the Yabe family have been to Passard's restaurant in France though... supposedly!
I have been gifted Yabe eggs on numerous occasions and there is no denying they are delicious. They are a high quality egg that are mildly rich and quite sweet. After hearing the story and tasting the eggs more times than I care to remember, I decided to pay the farm a visit last week and was quite disappointed. I suppose given the fuss, the taste and the fame of Passard's L'Arpege egg, I expected the farm to be free range. It most certainly isn't. The poor chickens are kept in battery cages, with no apparent temperature control, on the side of the farm that is beside the road. This type of poultry farm is still very popular in Japan and it hasn't deterred a very steady flow of customers to Yabe Poultry Farm.
Eggs are sold in a small shop in the farm. Parking available. Open 9 am to 3 pm, Tuesday to Sunday.