How To Eat A Balut (The Balut-Eating Challenge)

Balut is a Philippine street fare which is rarely welcomed by foreign tastebuds, especially when they are oriented on what it is.

Philipine Balut

Philipine Balut

Balut is fertilized duck embryo, cooked, kept warm, and usually sold as street food.

The concept is generally a taboo in western countries but also available in other south east asian neighbors like Vietnam and Laos. A famous source of balut in the Philipines is Pateros where incubation and selection of the eggs are carefully done.

NomnomClub.com @ WordCamp Philippines 2009

NomnomClub.com @ WordCamp Philippines 2009

Eating balut has also been featured in a number reality-TV series as part of daredevil tasks like Survivor, Amazing Race and Fear Factor. It is also considered an aphrodesiac.

In a WordCamp Philippines 2009 conference held last Saturday, we had Beau Lebens and Seth Bindernagel as guests speakers from WordPress and Mozilla, respectively.

WordCamp Philippines 2009

WordCamp Philippines 2009

On a gathering at the night after the wordcamp conference, a balut vendor passed by Whistlestop where we were having our dinner. And being foreigner and guests, we dared them to take on a balut-eating challenge. Seth was game and ready, although Beau needed a little more convincing.

The Japanese guy, also from Mozilla, was tough. He compared the probable experience to Japan’s serving of fish sperm. This totally deserves a completely separate blog (perhaps next time). πŸ™‚

Seth Bindernagel

Seth Bindernagel

Anyhow, it was Autralia versus the USA with Seth on the right corner and Beau on the left. The Wordcamp organizers, volunteers, and friends taught them the step by step procedures as to how to eat a balut and proded them on in the process mentioning “don’t look” (at the embryo) so as not to visually discouraged them. LOL.

How To Eat A Balut

  1. Lightly tap the tip of the egg shell on any hard surface just like a hard boiled egg. This is done with caution so as not to spill the young duck’s juice.
  2. After a hole has been punctured, one could immediately sip the warm juice. The broth essence is full of protein.
  3. Peel off the rest of the eggshells to reveal most parts of the yolk and the young chick.
  4. Give it a dash of salt to enhance the flavor. The embryo is slightly moist as some of the juice still remains. This is perfect for the pinch of salt to mix with.
  5. Eat while still warm. Swallowing it whole is possible but bite-after-bite is recommended. (do not forget to remove the “white part” which is hard and rubbery – this part is not eaten as it is hard to digest).
  6. Congratulations! You have just proven that you are as tough as the Survivor, Amazing Race and Fear Factor contestants! πŸ™‚
Peel off the Shells

Peel off the Balut Shells

Add a Pinch of Salt

Add a Pinch of Salt

Chew Away :)

Chew Away πŸ™‚

With the recent interest in balut, the delicacy has found itself  served in different ways including as appetizers in restaurants, preserved in bottles, or cooked as adobo. Unsold balut in the streets are eventually fried and sold as a different delicacy alltogether.

Here’s a video of the “How To Eat Balut” incident.:

A good tip is to choose your balut young, with the embryo as undeveloped yet as possible. This means that the young chick is “not yet” a chick. Otherwise, you’ll feel some feathers/hair in your tongue or end up chewing out the balut‘s “beak“. Eeewww. LOL. πŸ™‚ Nomnomnom.

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