Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Balut


So I was just reading about balut. Hmmmm. I hate to be judgmental when it comes to world foods, as many of the delicacies in the world, especially third world countries, came from necessity, but this sort of turns my stomach. Balut is a duck egg that carries a fertilized duck in it, somewhere between 17 and 20 weeks in gestation. This means that inside the innocuous looking egg is a duck, or chicken at times, that is about to hatch. The eggs are then boiled and served with salt, pepper and vinegar. They are supposedly so popular in the Philipines that they have been equated to the American hot dog. Now, I am not one who is going to go to great lengths to defend the hot dog. It is essentially lips and assholes and that is not in any way better than eating a baby duck in one foul swoop. But the grinding of the meat, and perhaps the addition of ketchup and relish if you so choose, make this a much more palatable choice for us squeamish Americans.

I mean what could the texture of this creature (it really is a creature, it looks like something you might find in the Black Lagoon) possibly be? Is it slimy and crunchy all at the same time? Mushy and buttery? I imagine things would squirt into your mouth and throat when taking a bite. On Wikipedia they say they are commonly served with beer. I am going to have to start drinking beer right now and not let up if I am going to taste these. They have called them feathered eggs as well because, well, there could possibly be feathers involved. I am actually scowling as I write this. Well now I am laughing because I'm thinking about what my face must have just looked like. Even Chris Cosentino of Incanto and offal fame has said he can't eat it. One writer called it the culinary Heart of Darkness. I think Joseph Conrad would agree. I sort of feel like it is the equivalent of eating an abortion, actually it might be the equivalent of performing one and eating it all at the same time. Alright, I have now managed to disgust myself. Until next time...

2 comments:

eviedee said...

Wow. I have not read something food related that is so vivid yet horrifying in a good long time. Thanks! :)

Christine said...

Maybe you should taste it first before you give your opinion. Balut is just an underdeveloped duck embryo. Compared to cat's intestine or cow's balls in china, this is much more subtle food.