Balut:: Would you give anything at least a try?

This was my very first visit to the Philippines and I went there with plans to eat two things. One was the steak at Mamou and the other was to eat Balut.

In case you don’t know, Balut is the famous or should I say infamous Filipino delicacy which is basically a 16 day old unhatched duck egg which is served hard boiled. They tell me that in the Philippines, it is the favourite among men and is usually eaten with beer. And, as with many of these wierd and wonderful dishes, the Filipinos believe it to be an aphrodisiac. Perhaps the government would want to explore how to bring Balut into Singapore to see if it would boost our population growth.

Needless to say, most of us would be quite disgusted just with the thought of eating an undeveloped embryo. Before eating this, I was wondering if it was going to be chewy, whether the bones are going to be crunchy and whether the feathers are going to be a bit fibrous.

The way to eat Balut is to crack open the top of the shell and drink the soup first. It tasted quite ok, just like chicken soup. Then after you drink the soup, you are supposed to put the whole egg in the mouth and just eat it like that. A Filipino passerby was demonstrating this to me and he tells me that it is best to eat Balut in the dark because you really don’t need to see what you are eating.

OK the moment of truth. The thing tasted like a whole egg yolk and you really can’t differentiate the embryo from the rest. It was just all mushy. It took me a while to swallow the whole thing but I managed to do it eventually with the help of some sweetened drink. OK, I did it. Don’t need to do it again.

Besides 16 day old eggs, they also sell day old chicks which they deep fry till crispy. I did not try this one because I was just pleased I finished my Balut. But I can imagine that it would taste a little better. I think at the end of the day, we have all been conditioned to eat certain foods and some foods are just taboo. To us century eggs are delicious but others might find eating eggs marinated in horse urine a little hard to swallow.

Well, there you have it. Been there, ate that. I like to believe that I would give any food at least a try. How about you all? Would you give anything at least a try? What was the most disgusting thing you have eaten?

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