Balut

While chicken menses may be on the ovo-lactic vegetarian's menu, duck embryos are not.

In the Philippines, Viet Nam and China, duck embryos are considered a delicacy (and aphrodisiac).

In the Philippines, they are considered perfect when they are 17 days, before the beak and bones start to form.

While I have eaten many parts of animals (heart, stomach, liver, tongue, etc) and many different kinds of animals (guinea pig, horse, crocodile, llama, etc) and prepared in many different ways (raw, marinated with lemon juice, BBQ'd, boiled, etc), and desire to try still more kinds (raw camel liver, dog, cat, snake), I am not sure I could bring myself to eat a balut.

There is some irrational squeamishness buried deep inside me that makes me balk at the thought. Actually, it is the same sqeamishness that makes me balk at eating bugs as well (not withstanding I eat shrimp and crabs and other shellfish - which are just like big insects in the sea. Incidentally, people who are allergic to shellfish, should avoid eating insects).



Images taken from here and here.

Comments

Coffee fairy said…
hehehe. I remember in the show Fear Factor, one challenge was to eat a couple of baluts in 3 minutes (or something like that)and the contestants were grossed out. But well, I can eat 2 baluts in less than a minute! Balut is yummy for me, I've always been telling everyone that the key to eating balut is to not look at it while you eat it. hehehe. But the idea of eggs as chicken menses is still ewwww for me. hehehe. =p
Colleen said…
I dont think I would bring myself to eat this either. I shiver when I talk to my guy about eating sushi. He loves it I just dont think I can bring myself to even try it. I do infact love sardines and not may people like them. Weird My dad and I used to eat them a lot for lunch with saltine crackers when I was a kid.
Richard said…
coffee fairy: can you describe the taste and texture? If salted, does it taste like broth?

colleen: What amkes it worse, is that in Viet Nam, they like to eat it when it is a little more mature and has some crunch to it.

Not all sushi is raw. For example, the shrimp is always cooked (it is just served cold on a bed of rice). Of course, maybe it is a fish thing.

There are non-fish sushi (or at least the place up my way prepares non-fish sushi). My daughter likes mango sushi - little bits of mango rolled up in rice.

I'm not too crazy about sardines (unless they are in tomato sauce).
Lunafish said…
I wonder what things that our culture eats regularly grosses other cultures out? I like eggs but not the idea of eggs. I like them many ways,know how to cook a couple of great egg dishes. I even like them raw, mixed up with milk, sugar and vanilla and spices - eggnog without the alcohol. I like Chicken and some things that I am told taste like chicken - like alligator.
Don't think I could try dog or cat since I am a pet person and though your post with the fried guinea pig made me break into kid like laughter, it is off my menu. I've eaten a chocolate covered grasshopper and I agree: Bugs are just not meant to be eaten. I do like shrimp and they are bugs of the sea. I don't eat fish much because of parasites, I read an article and have known people who were in the hospital from eating sushi. eeeek
Coffee fairy said…
ok, to describe more...to eat a balut you break the shell on top to make a little hole just enough for you to suck in the soup of balut -- the soup is actually very tasty, yes, it tastes like broth. Then you break open the rest of the shell to eat the balut "meat", which we put a little salt to make it more tasty. There are 3 parts of the meat -- 1) the "bato", this is usually the white hard part (like Mentos candy) and when it's too hard we dont eat it as it does not have any taste anyway. A good balut actually dont have this part (or may have but very small only). 2) The balut yolk, the yellow meat. This is soft and smooth, it feels like the egg yolk of an ordinary boiled egg but this is bigger and more tender. I think this would be the "favorite" part of most people since not all who eat balut could eat the last and highlight part of the balut which is... 3) The duckling which when more mature, the head, beak and feet of the duckling is already in form, just like Colleen mentioned, it makes it have some crunch to it, hehehe. This is also soft, a little slimy and I dont know how to describe the taste, I'm thinking of something similar to compare it with but I cant think of any, but it still tastes broth with a little more twist. hehe.
Mum2One said…
Eeeeewwwwwww!!! My half sister is half filipino and she's had balut before when she was still a child-20 years ago now. Even then I felt sick when she told me about it. Now I finally see a picture of it and Eeeeeeeekks!! How can any want see that and still eat it!!
dandan...™ said…
eeee.. u eat cats & dogs?????
Prince Romp said…
About balut,Im sorry guys...
I just cant say a word..

As what lunafish said..
what our culture eats grosses other
cultures out..

Honestly i ever tried horse meat, rabbit and eel.. ( 2 kind of pets and a snake cousin.)

My advice to you, Richard..
pls dont try to eat dog or cat..
you can be jailed for that..hee
Richard said…
lunafish: I'm not sure what we eat that grosses out other cultures. My experience has shown me that not everything is to everyone's taste, but I don't recall anything that grosses people out.

As for raw eggs ... I used to eat the yolk mixed with sugar when I was a child. The last raw egg I had was mixed with raw beef in steak Tatar.

BTW, I think alligator tastes like pork, not chicken.

coffee fairy: hmmm ... you actually make it sound tasty - clearing away my initial objections. Maybe if I ever get to the Philippines I will try it.

mom2one: well, you are right, it looks pretty gross. But coffee fairy's description actually eases my gross out and makes me consider trying it.

dandan: no I do not eat dogs and cats, but I would like to try. I may have to go to China for that experience (although, I think the Chinese are discouraging the practice).

prince romp: you are right, in Canada I would probably be fined or jailed.

I had rabbit last night (including the kidneys, heart and liver).

Horse is very, very lean. Leaner than turkey. It is a good low fat alternative to steak. But who wants a low fat steak? No one! We want a nice fatty steak that melts in our mouth.
tin-tin said…
sorry... but i just don't eat balut.

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