"It is possible to die from eating. But I think to be professional means you don't die." (Takeru Kobayashi)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

PARTIALLY FORMED CHICKEN FETUSES TASTE BETTER THAN I THOUGHT THEY WOULD

Not long ago at our office Halloween pot luck lunch party one of our web design guys (Edwin) brought half a dozen balut eggs to the festivities. For those unfamiliar with balut, it's an Asian delicacy described thusly on Wikipedia: "balut is a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell." In other words, it's not something most people in the Western hemisphere would eat on a regular basis.

Edwin is from the Philippines and also eats in all of our office eating contests. We had been talking about digging into some balut eggs for a while and, as soon as I saw them all nestled in paper towels in that Tupperware container next to the sloppy joes I knew it wouldn't be long until Beau, Edwin and I were eating them. I just hoped that they weren't the "almost fully fertilized" embryos with the beaks and soft bones. Thankfully, these weren't.

According to Wikipedia, the type of balut we ate is 17 days old (preferred in the Philippines), whereas the Vietnamese prefer their balut 19 to 21 days old (with beak, feathers and claws).

Here's how the balut chow down went down. First of all, balut is always stored and served warm (or at room temperature). We cracked off the top and tilted it back to slurp the reddish broth that surrounds the fetus. It's not much liquid but it tastes salty and pretty much like egg juice would -- if eggs could be juiced. Then comes the fun part. With a fork, we scooped out a yellowish veiny mass followed by a white glob of something. Overall, the taste was sort of like an egg yolk, only slighty metallic and a little bit like blood. At the bottom of the egg was a hard, white mass which Edwin told us we weren't supposed to eat. We didn't argue with him.

I have to admit, I was a lot more skittish about my balut eating experience than Beau and Edwin were. We're already trying to figure out how to incorporate balut into an upcoming inter-office eating contest involving several disgusting foods. Oh boy. I can't wait.

19 Comments:

Blogger "Sweet" Jill Stoler said...

That's just disgusting. It also makes me want to become a vegetarian...again.

11:11 PM

 
Blogger steakbellie said...

ugh.

2:15 AM

 
Blogger Carey said...

Dave, you now have an answer for question number 5.

8:54 AM

 
Blogger Carey said...

It must have been nice to have something different with all those string bean caseroles everyone else brought, huh?

9:32 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like those eggs . I had been eat a lot 16 years ago. 50-80 in half hour. soooo testy. Juliet

5:32 AM

 
Blogger Mega Munch said...

You're killing me with that "question number 5" comment, Carey. Is there a questionaire that I didn't get?

Juliet - We were wondering if there was an official "Balut Eating Champion of the World" title out there. If not, one of us was going to eat three or four eggs in a minute or two and claim it, but it sounds like you've got the title! Congrats...I won't even TRY to take that one from you.

8:03 AM

 
Blogger D. A. Payne said...

I'm sick now... thanks.

9:05 AM

 
Blogger Mega Munch said...

No problem man. Think about that next time you're scarfing down some chicken wings. Those poor chicks coulda been balut, but noooooo, you had to let them hatch and then chop off their wings and cook them in a savory barbeque sauce. You make me SICK!

12:10 PM

 
Blogger Carey said...

Poor helpless chickens running around without wings. Where is the humanity?

4:35 PM

 
Blogger la beauheme said...

And don't get me started on Chicken fingers.

It fit in perfect with the usual creepy crawly food the Creatives put out for Halloween. MM, did you try the bug mix? I'll post the video as soon as I can.

5:37 PM

 
Blogger bothenook said...

oh gahd, balut...
the only way i could eat one of those things in the PI was to have a boatload of san magoo beer inside to cushion the thing. sorry, but steamed fertilized duck eggs just don't do it for me. gag.

1:18 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balut is great. It looks unattractive. But, it is smoother than chicken (the 17 day baluts that don't have bones and beaks).

Balut is to chicken as veal is to beef.

They also do batter-dipped, deep-fried balut, which helps a bit with the unattractive appearance.

10:18 AM

 
Anonymous PD said...

Odd how I don't recall hearing about "a hard, white mass which Edwin told us we weren't supposed to eat" until just today.

urp.

9:36 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they are my favoite food and i am not joking!!!!!!!!!

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3:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BALLS AND SEX

3:03 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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5:09 PM

 
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5:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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5:11 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmmm abortions

4:42 AM

 

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