Two separate articles – on Cracked.com and Wired.com – and a good spot on Fear Factor have identified the Philippines’ ubiquitous balut as one of the most curious yet terrifying foods on earth. The majority of Filipinos heave a collective What?! in disbelief.
Wired.com defines balut as duck eggs that have been incubated until the fetus is all feathery and beaky, and then boiled alive. When served hot with rock salt, balut can be a delightful, albeit messy experience! Eating balut essentially consists of four steps:
1) Crack open shell. Sprinkle rock salt, and slurp out the ‘soup.’
2) Peel away shell shards. Depending on which side you’ve opened on, feast on either yellow yolk or duck fetus.
3) Feast on the remaining parts of the egg, sans shell. Your call whether you’d care to eat the rather tough white part.
4) Wipe hands, drink soda or beer, and burp loudly to signal your appreciation of the balut.
Balut is delightful! Looking at the list provided by Cracked.com, I find myself even more repulsed by Iraq’s pacha, which is boiled sheep’s head (served whole, that’s right), or Italy’s casu marzu, a sheep’s milk cheese infested with fly maggots that, upon ingestion, can pass through the stomach undigested to breed in the intestine, causing vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Compared to these two, balut is awesome! Well, to each his own, I suppose.
If there are any balut lovers out there, I dare you to send me some photos of you eating balut! I have some pix of me eating balut,right after the jump. (Pic, by the way, from My Sarisari Store.)
Click on the thumbnail to view larger photo.