Weird Food Wednesday – Balut:  A developing duck embryo that’s boiled alive in its shell. As well as sounding incredibly harsh, it looks decidedly unappetizing. Still, it’s a common Filipino street food and is usually served with beers, though not ever on a Taste Winchester History & Hops Beer and Cider Tour.  At least this is a rare Weird Food Wednesday post that doesn’t invoke the “delicacy” clause.  I’m sure this means it will suddenly drop off of everyone’s list of “must try foods” as a result.

Doesn’t this look delightful?  Want some fries with your feathers, talons, and beak?  Read on after the alarming photo…

And it seems we’re happening upon a new trend as we explore the weird foods of the world.  We’ve gone from almost exclusively “delicacy” to now “libido-enhancing” or “aphrodisiac”.  Yes, apparently eating this horror-movie meal allegedly enhances the sexual prowess of those who manage to be able to chow down on a baby duck that has been boiled alive, gnawing past the beaks and feet and onward to an evening of sultry pleasantness.  Maybe.

Balut eggs are said to have originated in China thousands of years ago, but they were not seen outside Southeast Asia until the early 1800s. Balut eggs are fertilized duck eggs that have been allowed to age for anywhere from 12 to 20 days. Many pregnant women eat balut eggs believing that they encourage a healthy pregnancy.  The younger the egg, the less developed the duck fetus inside it. Some in the Philippines believe that the more developed a fetus you’re able to eat, the more manly you must be.  As previously mentioned, some consider balut eggs to be an aphrodisiac.

Now, having shown Misty this photograph and inquired as to the last part, I have been made to understood that had I dared to even consider trying this, “manly” isn’t the word that she came up with.  She chose a few more interesting words.  Disgusting was one.  Deranged was another.  I also thought I heard something that sounded like “relationship ending” as she walked down the hall from the office, but I may not have heard that correctly.  I can tell you this, I’m safe.  I’m so safe, in fact, that I didn’t even really want to write about this meal it’s so, well, off-putting just to look at.

So apparently they’re packed with vitamin C and beta carotene, both powerful antioxidants that help clean free radicals from your bloodstream and support your immune system. They also contain niacin, riboflavin and thiamine, which help you metabolize energy.  At 188 calories each, with only 14 grams of protein and loads of calcium, iron and phosphorus, balut eggs are a healthy addition to an adventurous diet.  LOL @ “adventurous.”

Hey, important advice is to avoid eggs that have been allowed to age more than 17 days if you want to avoid beak, bones, and feathers.  THERE we go… let’s all rush out now and eat us some balut!  No.  Well, if you want to go all the way… serving them is recommended as follows:

Scoop the balut eggs out of the hot water and place one or two into small, shallow bowls. Crack an egg with the edge of a spoon as you would to get a soft-boiled egg out of its shell. If the eggs are from ducks who have been fed their natural diet, sprinkle a little bit of salt into the egg. If the balut eggs are commercially farmed, you may want to sprinkle in a mixture of vinegar and chili oil. Drink the broth, eat the egg yolk and and then eat the duck fetus. If it has been allowed to age not more than 17 days, it shouldn’t have any bones, will taste like chicken and will have a texture that is closer to brick cream cheese or tofu. Eggs that have aged for longer may have beaks, bones and feathers which can all be eaten. Discard the shell and any white albumen that might be left in it.

“Tastes like chicken.”  Again.  Boy, I can’t wait to see what’s happening next week. Like us, share us, follow us via social media at Taste Winchester History on Facebook;  And of course, check us out on Instagram as well at Taste Winchester History on Instagram.

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