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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Balut

I'm biased of course, but I'd definitely rather eat a 1000 year old preserved duck egg (which of course has not been preserved for a 1000 years), then balut. Which looks scarier?


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5 Comments:

Blogger kate said...

what the hell is that?

8:20 PM  
Blogger Sareet said...

Preserved duck embryo. A Filipino delicacy. Check out the comments section to the previous post. (*shudder*)

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i believe i already said ba...ba...LUT. i wouldn't be able to do it. It looks like one of our path specimens- a lot like them actually, since they are humans of approximately the same developmental age. I suppose that messes up my feelings about it. eggs i can eat but don't like. embryos i would have to get the stomach for.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS- i thought this was pretty interesting, and in the interest of understanding other cuisines, i tried looking around online for people talking about its merits (and a lot of people like it). I had begun to think i might use it as a curse word- awh, BaLut! But then I read this- far more worthy use of balut, though I would stop short of the "freaks" judgement (post contains photos, but I'll spare you):

On a trip to the local Asian market with my friend Koji, i decided to try something different. I like eggs, and eat them quite a bit, but have never had an egg from something other than a chicken. So, when I saw "Duck Eggs" hand written on a sign in front of a carton of individually wrapped eggs, I decided to drop the dollar and try it.

It was slightly larger than your standard chicken egg, and had been unevenly dyed red. I pondered over how to cook it for a few minutes and finally decided on frying it up for a egg and cheese sandwich. I was excited.

I heated up the pan and sprayed in a little oil. Once it was time, I grabbed the egg and started gently tapping it on the side of the pan to crack the shell. The shell was a little thicker than I expected, but I eventually broke through. The inner membrane on the egg was also thicker than your standard chicken egg, and although the shell was cracked partially open, the membrane was holding tight and not allowing any of the egg contents to drip out. The I noticed something disturbing... the egg contents were substantially darker than expected.

So I grabbed a small glass bowl. I decided to crack the egg into the bowl first to make sure everything was kosher, then I'd just settle for scrambled. Well, as I pulled the shell further apart and punctured the inner membrane, a chunky, brown and orange glob of at-the-time-unknown goo fell into the bowl. I was taken aback. Yuri was watching over my shoulder, and we both jumped back as it settled in the bowl. Not knowing what the hell was going on, I decided to poke around the glob of junk that fell out with a fork.

Yuri continued to watch over my shoulder as I felt around for something solid. Once I had something on the fork, I lifted it up out of the brown soup that contained it. At first we couldn't tell what it was. Approximately 1 second later, we both realized it was the partially developed head of a duck. Yuri started screaming and almost knocked me over as she pushed off of me to get away as fast as she could. The head had a beak, black eyes, and veins. Attached to the head by a thin neck (hanging between the fork prongs) was the rest of the body. There were the beginnings of feathers, and you could see through the skin into the body cavity underneath. As I lifted it up further, the mass of organs inside it fell through the bottom of the torso into the bowl. It was fucking repulsive.

Come to find out, partially developed duck eggs, which are called Balut, are a traditional food in the Phillipines. Freaks. Balut is the most disgusting food item I have ever seen. I now rate gross food on the Balut Scale. For instance, I rate canned salmon (the kind in the big can, which contains scales, veins, bones, etc) as 60% as gross as Balut, or .6Balut.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Sareet said...

LOL. I like that - the Balut Scale. Being chinese, I totally understand how people like foods that may seem gross to others but I can't even think about balut for too long without feeling sick. I relly did nearly throw up watching the food network/discovery channel show about it.

9:56 AM  

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