Follow Me To The Deep End!!

Sep 12, 2005

Balut. The Egg of Darkness. Pinoy-Pinay. Panorama City, CA.

basket of balut
Pinoy-Pinay. Panorama City, CA.

(WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS GRAPHIC PHOTOS OF DUCK FETUS)

If you cannot bear the silence and the darkness, do not go there; if you dislike black night and yawning chasms, never make them your profession. If you fear the sound of water hurrying through crevices toward unknown and mysterious destinations, do not consider it. Seek out the sunshine. It is a simple prescription. Avoid the darkness.

- Loren Eiseley from the book The Night Country


In the Philippines there are supernatural creatures infamous in the country’s folklore that can put a crippling chill in the spine of grown men by the mere mention of their name. On nights when the moon is high and the weather balmy and the air thick and wet, and when the residents of small villages leave their windows and doors wide open to escape the oppressive heat that smothers the Malay Archipelago, this is when the feared aswang are said to appear. The aswang live among the general human population and are not easily identified. They can take the form of women by day and werewolves by night. These are the merciless and murderous shapeshifters that hunt small children and the frail elderly. They may also take the form of a bloodsucking female vampire who seduce and kill. Or they can resemble something Westerners would describe as zombies or the undead on an eternal search for human flesh with a special fondness for liver. An aswang is also able to cast spells in order to subdue the victim then use her wickedly long, serpentine tongue to penetrate the skin and to feed off of the blood. As with many of the aswang’s Western counterparts, they were once human but became possessed by evil spirits and turned into creatures of the night. There are a few ways to turn aswang but it is rumored that one way is to eat balut.

There is a delicacy infamous in Filipino culture that can put a crippling chill in the spine of grown men almost as quickly as talk of aswang. That delicacy is the notorious balut. Balut is a popular Filipino street snack and is essentially a duck egg with a fetus inside, typically between seventeen to twenty days in gestation. In the Philippines balut is so popular that it is equivalent to what the hot dog is in the U.S. There are balut vendors who push around carts full of fetal treats and bark their wares in a sing-song chant of “baluuuut, baluuuut!” Balut is also a popular aphrodisiac for men. But even with the good vibes and positive spin surrounding balut, the stigma attached to eating it overshadows all the warm and fuzzy aspects of this very Deep End Dining dish.

Balut is the culinary heart of darkness. If you eat it, you have reservations about doing so. If you know about it, you have strong opinions regarding it. Ask for it in a restaurant and the clerk will visibly react. Devour it at a table with others who aren’t, and you’re guaranteed to dine solo. Explain balut to the uninitiated and be prepared for your audience to run away from you as quickly as possible while seeking sanctuary in something comforting like a Ding Dong. I know all this because I’ve had these things happen to me whenever balut is present, physically or conversationally. I have struggled and continue to struggle with eating balut. Superman has his kryptonite and I have balut. It is probably one of the (if not THE) exotic foods I fear most. In fact, I have been putting off reviewing balut for almost a year now for this reason. Why am I so freaked out by balut? Well, how much time do you have? For starters, balut will haunt you after you ingest it. It stays with you forever. I’m not suggesting that I believe in the ghost stories about being possessed after eating balut. I’m speaking more to the traumatic imprinting that might occur when you consume this culturally complex cuisine. Even when I try hard not to think about what I’m eating, somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind I’m aware that I’m eating a fetus, life that is yet to be, something unborn, taboo food. Also, this awareness has nothing to do with political-religious beliefs. It is simply the unappealing idea of eating a fetus.


balut exposed

I did not grow up eating balut. My first exposure to balut was my sophomore year in college when a Filipina friend of mine let me sample one of these eccentric eggs. She invited me to her home where she was to prepare it. Back in those days I was only slightly less daring about trying new and strange foods than compared to today. Also, I prided myself on being the “been there, ate that” guy. No exotic food could shock me. I’ve seen it all…or so I thought. My friend returned from the kitchen, grinning from ear to ear rather nefariously. She explained to me in plain language that balut is a boiled duck’s egg with a fetus inside. She continued on to illustrate that when I chew on the egg I may come across feathers, the duck's bill, bones and other bonus treats that aren’t included in your standard hard-boiled egg. Intellectually I understood what she was telling me. Realistically I could not have been more unprepared. There on the table was the first balut I’d ever seen and it had my name on it. But before I was to breach the balut’s shell, my friend instructed me on the basics of eating balut. First, I had to tap the pointy tip of the egg’s shell and make an opening large enough only for the broth to trickle into my mouth. Next, I needed to remove the shell and season the egg with salt. Lastly, I had to decide whether to wolf down the balut in just two bites or less, so as not to visually encounter the fetus, or to nibble on the egg and eat it section by section, being extra cozy with the partially formed duck. Lesson over.

So I went ahead and tapped the tip of the egg, created a tiny hole and took a quick swig of the soup. It was nice. Light and subtly sweet. The next thing that happened is a lot like what happens when you crank the handle of a jack in the box. You know something is going to pop out and you know it is going to startle you, but just because something is predictable doesn’t make it less shocking. It came time to open the balut. I peeled off a sizeable swath of shell. Suddenly and without any warning the fetus was exposed. In my hand, clear as crystal, was part of a duck fetus imbedded in the whites with a random feather jutting out. The blood drained from my face, my knees buckled and my breath quickened. I dropped the balut and told my friend there was no way I could eat any part of that gruesome egg. My friend’s eyes widened and brightened. I think I even spied a string of saliva dangling from an incisor. She grabbed the balut and said, “That just means more for me.” She then ferociously devoured it as if it was the most delicious thing she’d ever eaten in her entire life. She seemed a little intense when she ate the balut and it was worrisome to me, however there was no Hannibal Lecter styled flourish at the end, just a dainty belch.

That happened over fifteen years ago.

I’m older now. Less idealistic. More cynical. Maybe more callous. I don’t know. All I know is I have a score to settle. Balut beat me once and I wasn’t going to let it happen again. I could do this. Who cares if it’s a little baby duck that will never see a glistening pond or swim with a paddling of other baby ducks. I mean, really, what’s there to be afraid of? It’s not alive like Korean “live tentacles”. It’s not potentially poisonous like Japanese fugu. And I don’t believe in those silly ghost stories about being possessed by female vampires after eating balut. The worst thing about it is that it looks kinda gross. But so does a chunk of blue cheese. The fear is all in my mind. Bring. It. On.

This was easier said than done, however. Balut is readily available in Filipino grocery stores but much harder to get at Filipino restaurants, and I wanted to eat it at a restaurant. Pinoy-Pinay in Panorama City, California is one of the few restaurants that occasionally serves balut depending on whether or not the balut guy delivers a basket that day. When I showed up, it was there. I suppose it was destiny. The servers behind the counter at this turo-turo or “point-point restaurant” were suspicious of me as I went through the buffet line and only asked for the balut and nothing else. As soon as the balut hit my tray, I grabbed a corner booth, tried to blend in and started to unwrap the foil that encased the balut. I chipped a chunk of the shell’s top off and took a drink of the broth just like the first time. Although, this time around I couldn’t help but ponder the idea of whether this liquid was really a broth or closer to amniotic fluid. A provocative yet unappetizing thought, perhaps. Regardless, the broth slash amniotic fluid was faintly nectarous and pleasant. After sipping the very life force out of the balut and delaying as long as possible the inevitable ingesting of the fetus, I began removing the shell patch by patch until the balut was completely exposed. In front of me in all its ghastly splendor was something that resembled a teleportation gone horribly wrong. In just about any science-fiction show there is a small chance that when a person is teleported something could go awry and when the person is finally reassembled on the other side he could end up with his insides on the outside. Vile, I know, but this is what my balut reminded me of. The albumen or whites was covered by a sprawl of blood vessels, deeply etched all over the egg like red tribal markings. In another spot was a knot of unidentifiable nerves that looked vital. Over here was something resembling fibrous tissue of some sort. The whole shebang was coated in a slimy membrane that shimmered in the light. This was worse than I remembered and definitely a very bad beginning.

I decided that I would do this in a big way and really face-off with my food. Which meant I would eat the balut bit by bit and expose the fetus and then eat the fetus without any barrier between it and me. My palms began to sweat as I deliberately took the egg apart piece by piece. Every time a chunk of egg was removed it was like the jack in the box. I wanted to stop but I was morbidly curious and could not. The next chunk of albumen came off. And the next. Then the next…

Round and round the cobbler's bench
The monkey chased the weasel,
The monkey thought 'twas all in fun
Pop! Goes the weasel!



balut fetus

Like a jolt there it was. The fetus: head, eyes, bill, little wings. No feathers, thank God. The sight of it threw me back into my seat. No matter how much I thought I was prepared for the balut, I still couldn’t handle looking at it. It turned my stomach. My throat constricted. My body was doing everything it could to dissuade me from putting that thing into my mouth. This fetus was a mad scientist’s experiment. It was an H.R. Giger creation. It was a bad acid trip. This fetus was many things but the one thing it certainly wasn’t was something I wanted to eat. But I had no choice really. Here I am. There it is. Here goes nothing. I took a deep breath, shut my eyes and did it quickly. (Sound advice for lots of things in life you don’t want to do.) I went right for the head and upper torso just like Ozzy Osborne used to do. Then I braced myself and waited for what I thought would be the unavoidable and unnerving crunch of tiny bones and the stab of a the bill. Miraculously and inexplicably, there was none of that, only the gentle sinking of teeth into egg.

I dodged the balut bullet.

Suddenly this monstrosity of a meal didn’t seem so daunting anymore. Now I could actually focus on the taste and not the terror. And, you know, it kind of tastes good. It tastes, appropriately enough, like duck. It also tastes like duck liver. I was very relieved. But I was also disappointed. How could a food inspire so much fear, controversy and ghost stories and ultimately taste common, banal, even boring? How was this possible? And how very anticlimactic.

Regardless of this relatively benign experience, I am still skittish of balut. I simply can’t look at it. The sight of the fetus disgusts me like nothing else. I snicker at people who can’t eat fish with the head still attached or a whole roast pig or a Chinese roast duck. Balut really is not all that different from those dishes. But at the same time it is different. Maybe what bothers me is the baby thing. I’m uncertain because I do enjoy baby octopus. Maybe it’s the vulnerable nature of the fetus. This could be part of the reason. Or maybe it’s the sickening sight of a partially formed creature? I prefer my food fully constructed and a little older. Would I ever try balut again? Well, there is another traditional approach to eating balut that I forgot to mention. It involves drinking a shot of liquor after every bite of egg. So if there’s a bottle of Jack next to that sack of balut, you can count me in as a definite maybe.

210 comments:

1 – 200 of 210   Newer›   Newest»
elmomonster said...

Eddie,

I. Am. Speechless. That was just simply, one of your best. How do you write so well?

As I was reading that I had my hands cupped over my mouth. I shut my eyes a few times, anticipating and getting ready for your next sentence.

You didn't even need to include those pictures. Your words alone did it.

But the photos - I had to scroll past quickly so as not to look at them too long. Grousome...

I hope you do not have to repeat this experience like you did for the tentacles.

sarah said...

by the way, i really enjoy your blog and thought you might enjoy this site about mortgages...LOL! wtf?!?! get rid of the spam!

anyway, i can't believe you ate it!!!

good job :)

WHAT IS NEXT?!?!

Jen said...

exquisite. I was on the edge of my seat. Even though I rationally knew you would eat it, I just kept wondering if you were going to make it to the finish. fantastic, thanks so much!

Eddie Lin said...

Elmo,

As always, I totally appreciate your compliments. This was a tough one to write and to swallow. I'm glad you like it.

p.s. I have to eat it again for a radio show on KPCC. Oh well.


Sarah,

I'm recruiting you to be my anti-spam enforcer. Go get medieval on some spammer butt!! Thanks!

Eddie Lin said...

Jen,

Believe me, the suspense and the thought of biting into balut was killing me as well. Thanks for reading all the way through. I appreciate it.

FranMag said...

Thanks for the review. My husband (Filipino) has been trying to get me (not Filipino) to try Balut for a while now. You've actually assured me that it may not be as bad as I think it might be.

Eddie Lin said...

Franmag,

If you want to actually eat balut after that post, then you are way more daring that I am. Here take my chopsticks and fork. I'm going to Denny's.

Juliet said...

It is a good thing I wasn't eating when I read that, or the pictures surely would have made me vomit. Still, now I want to try balut myself. Just close my eyes and eat it up. How weird am I? LOL

Eddie Lin said...

Your husband is right. You are a strange bird. Where'd he find you? ;)

augustusgloop said...

Congrats on a great post! I was laughing with/at/for you at every sentence. Balut is indeed with a capital 'B'.

I've had balut a few times and yes the juice is definitely the highlight. Then it all goes downhill from there. I usually pile it with herbs and no, I never look too closely at the inside!!!

Thanks for the thoroughly entertaining! Do you think they'll ever come up with McBalut Bites?

Eddie Lin said...

Augustus,

The day McBalut Bites happens is the day we ride on flying donkeys. Thanks for your great comment.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

I think you're making far too big a deal of this than you should.

Sure, it's exotic.
Sure, it's weird.

But do you people really want to know what goes in your average, every-day, all American hot dog?
Two words: Pig Anus.

Eddie Lin said...

anonymous,

you do have a point. if they grounded up duck fetus and made it into an omelette, it probably would be more visually appetizing. but they don't. that's my hang up. anus is pretty hard to stomach if it wasn't in the form of a hot dog. maybe your anus is more appetizing. i don't know.

Clo said...

This is the best mistery thriller since Hitchkock's PSYCHO!!! When is the movie coming out?! Keep them coming, Eddie!! We love it!

Anonymous said...

QUAAAACK!!! Hey dude, I'm the (almost)ducklet!! I reincarnated into a Los Angeles actress wanna-be!!! I'm gonna get you back...I mean, quack! quack quack quack quack quaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!

Eddie Lin said...

Clo,

Thanks for the comparison to Hitchcock. I just hope the birds don't get revenge on me after this balut thing.

Anonymous,

You are such a wise quacker! Get it? Wise quack? Quack? Quackityquackquackcrack?!!

Truliketrudat said...

I finally ate entire balut when I was in Vietnam (when I was little I would eat parts of the whites of the eggs my parents were eating) and I must say that I agree that the soup is the best part. When we ate it we used spoons to cut up the white and duckling into bit sized pieces and it was very disconcerting to pull my spoon out of the shell to find a little head staring back at me or a little webbed foot waving hello. I don't think I'd seek the foodstuff out again but it was def an experience

holly said...

omg, I had to cover the picture with my hand and scroll quickly to read around the picture. How you ever put that thing in your mouth is beyond me, though I do salute you for your bravery. Fantastic post.

Juliet said...

Let me guess. In school, you were the kid everyone always dared to eat stuff? Am I right? ;-)

Eddie Lin said...

actually, dalian, i was the kid making everybody else eat their own boogers and glue and stuff. however, i did steal their twinkies because we never got any at home. it was later on in life when the food challenges began. of course, it started in college and, like for most guys, it started at all-you-can-eat buffets where we'd have contests to see who could eat the most without barfing. then i got into eating exotics for my friends' amusement. but i've been pretty much eating this stuff ever since i was very young.

Eddie Lin said...

holly,

yeah, sorry for the gag pictures. at least you don't have to personally eat it now. vicariously you've done it already. glad you liked the post.

Juliet said...

Well, yeah, I wouldn't think things like tripe and chicken feet would be that odd for you. Heck, they aren't even odd for me. But fetus, and those bugs you ate last year...that takes guts, if you ask me. :-) But you're still not quite as daring as my MIL. My husband told me that when he was a kid, she went out into the backyard, got some snails and baked them. Not that my husband at any, of course. LOL

Eddie Lin said...

dalian,

backyard snails don't sound toooo bad. unless you live near a nuclear waste dump then that doesn't sound good, well, unless you like snails that glow.

see, i think roadkill would be pretty extreme and i'm sure people in certain regions eat that stuff once in a while. it's like a drive-by butcher shop. blech!!

Kirk said...

Eddie - A truly awesome post! I had balut once, was invited to have "dinner" with the Parents of a Girl I was seeing, who were Filipino. Now I had seen Balut my entire life, but was faced down with eating it....You remember the "I never inhaled" statement. Well I never did chew - I swallowed(with my eyes closed), and tried not to gag. Though I do remember the embriotic fluid being like the best chicken/duck soup I'd ever had. Kudo's on a fabulous post!I'm waiting for you to do those Filipino Water Bugs....

Eddie Lin said...

Kirk,

Funny. I've heard about this family ritual of feeding balut to boyfriends of Filipina girls more than a few times now. Typically the boyfriend is white or non-Filipino. It sounds like old fashioned hazing to me. I wasn't even dating my Filipina friend and I had to try it. What a loser I am!

Hey, uh, Kirk, where can one get those water bugs? I'm asking for someone else. It's not for me or anything like that...

Clo said...

Dalian, Eddie, if you wanna eat snails just go to your nearest French restaurant!!! It's called ESCARGOT!

Victor said...

Wow. I didn't think you'd be able to top the tentacle video. Of course, the tentacles didn't actually bother me. This went all the way.

And the writing. Wow again. "Is Eddie going to lose it right here at this corner table?" Whew.

Eddie Lin said...

clo,

backyard snails gots more flava!! next time i'm in paris i'll have some with you!

victor,

thank you very much for the very generous comment. this post was a close one. i almost lost it. seriously, if i would've detected feathers of any kind...ralph!!

Kirk said...

Hey Eddie - You can inform your "friend" that I think the "bugs" are not legal in the US - so you will have, er ahem, you'll need to tell your friend he'll probably need to go to the Phillipines.

Anonymous said...

Eddie. Bravo. Yet another fabulous post. I predict you'll be syndicated within 6 months. Awesome.

Alder
www.vinography.com

Eddie Lin said...

kirk,

i'm running out of exotic food in LA. i'm going to need to take a food tour of the world soon.

alder,

i bet you say that to all the food bloggers. just kidding. thanks for the generous comment.

p.s. are you syndicated?

Anonymous said...

Don't you think this is too horrible....and inhuman too....We all are creatures of god and should not be doing such inhuman acts...really you need to seriously think on this.....

Eddie Lin said...

I didn't invent this dish. I'm only reviewing it. I don't know if you're a vegan or not. But, really, even if you are, a carrot is God's creation and, perhaps, it was put on this planet for our nourishment...just like a duck.

megwoo said...

Eddie,
Congrats on conquering balut. Like I said before, you are a brave, brave man. This time I really mean it.

Megan

P.S. That is one of the most disturbing pictures I've ever seen...

Moira said...

Hi Eddie...I got here via I Heart Bacon, and wanted to drop you a line to tell you how much I enjoyed your post. Balut is nothing that I'd ever be interested in eating, but I'm glad you did and told us all about it. You are a true foodie!

Mec said...

A Filipina here :)

I would just like to CORRECT a misconception... few Filipinos would eat a BALUT with a chick that is THAT OLD. Chances are, it's a dare or there's money involved. Really, we don't like them feathery and bony.

I am not saying the author of this blog didn't have a traumatic experience... probably, his 'friend' was playing with him...

Or maybe the kind of balut sold over there really sucks...

And for people who didn't grow up eating them, am sure the "horrific factor" is multiplied a dozen times over... same way Filipinos would probably feel about eating turtles (a delicacy in Singapore), crickets (a streetfood in Thailand), or cheese filled worms (a delicacy in Europe, and real expensive too)...

So you might also want to read http://www.stefoodie.net/2005/09/27/what-you-need-to-know-about-balut/ first before making up your minds :)

Another American was also brave enough to try balut by the way... check out http://pinayexpat.org

But yes, EDDIE, you do write well... others who won't take the time and trouble to verify what you wrote are sure to be left forever horrified and terrified of baluts...

Eddie Lin said...

Mec,

I did not prepare the balut both of the times I had them. I did not deliberately seek out the most developed balut in order to sensationalize this post. The balut you see and read about in my post is the balut I experienced. In fact, I would've preferred a balut that was not so far along in development.

I based my story on my experiences only. You and others may have had different experiences. I had my experience. If you think my friend was playing a joke or that the restaurant Pinoy-Pinay is deliberately serving inferior balut, then that is your prerogative.

My story on balut is not intended to denigrate this Filipino delicacy. It is one person's recounting of his struggle to appreciate balut.

watson said...

Hello Eddie. A Filipino here.

Is it balut season? Because I also wrote something about it in a previous post.

Believe it or not, it's my first time to hear the balut being associated with aswangs. But it's true what Mec has said. We do not usually eat our balut as depicted in the photo. That duck is way too old.

Nicely written post though. Glad you did try it too and wrote an "anti-climactic" review of it. Who knows, perhaps I might also try deep end dining other countries have to offer. Like snake blood. Or those things they eat at Fear Factor. To each his own eh? :-)

Eddie Lin said...

Watson,

The aswang association with balut was told to me by a couple of Filipino friends as well as derived from a thesis about balut.

I would love to try deep fried balut like the one you wrote about in your post. It sounds more appealing.

As far as the age of my balut, it is what I got served and I had no control over it.

Thanks for your comment and for visiting.

Svelte Rogue said...

as far as i know, you keep insisting that this is one specific, or rather, two specific encounters with balut, and you use this as your cloak of defense when people point out to you the errors of your post.

if you didnt bother to research on the delicacy you are reviewing, why present it in such an unfavourable light? to be cool and so people can say what a coolio you are for writing? i see it as a waste of your writing ability if you can't exercise mental discipline in first ascertaining the veracity of your folklore and how balut is truly eaten and appreciated, and not by ignoramuses like you and your american readers, but by people who actually know their balut stuff and have eaten it extensively and know that is is much more than all the sensationalism you have featured here.

your use of the metaphor egg of darkness, and the introduction of the aswang does not do the balut justice; in fact, you have overdone it.

a balut is simply an egg that many of my european friends have eaten simply because i told them to eat it and they did and enjoyed it immensely. and i had to get imported balut since i am now based in europe.

what a post, eddie lin. greatly written? maybe for fantasy minded people who don't care about facts and are in this for thrills. but in the end, this showcases great ignorance and cultural insensitivity.

packaging my foot. either you can eat it or not. if not, your loss. no need to paint horror pictures to titillate the sorry imagination of your equally in the dark readers.

BURNAY_B said...

Eddie,

What a post indeed! My family eats balut all the time . . . I DON'T and I WON'T. It's my choice but have never made any insensitive remarks about it, or them, at all.

Your "review" would have looked more intelligent, wiser, informative, etc., had you done further research on the subject.

Hahaha! Balut beat you twice!

"Deep End Dining. Daring. Different. Delicious. Diners dedicated to seeking and devouring the food uncommon . . . have an open appetite and get ready to take the plunge into the deep end."

Suggestion: Change all those crappy blab in your blog descrip and take a plunge into the bottomless pit yourself!

donburi said...

Man...that "svelte rogue" is something else. Not only is she offended that you wrote the article, she's pissed off that people are reading it. So much hate! Her kids are going to need serious counseling if she's like this at home...geez!

She's more terrifying to me than anything you have eaten or will ever eat.

All this over food!

You should read her blog. The sad, self-centered ramblings of a sad sad woman.

Luchie said...

This is something! bravo!!
how one can generate such hate by not being sensitive of another people's culture and love for their own?
why not instead find the gift of the present moment and express love and understanding on other people and culture instead?
you SUCKS mr lin!!!and you deserve it.

Jdavies said...

Your Balut pics are off color. Perhaps they are edited to appear too red, and bloddy or you got a really bad problem with your camera or lighting?

Balut does not look like that; it's yellow to brown much like a century egg.

Now I don't know if you intended that, if you did perhaps to sensationalize the story a bit. Style yes, but not responsible, methinks. By the way, eating fruits is the same thing as eating an egg if you ask me. Same thing, less sensationalism. To the uninformed and selfrighteous, convert to buddhism!

Eddie Lin said...

Convert to Buddhism? The only thing I did was eat balut. What's happening to meeeee????!!!!

Anonymous said...

50+ years of living in the Philippines and on Mindanao and eating plenty of Balut and Durian! You do a great diservice to this country and to your people! Shame on you. It is commonly practiced that the buntis and the sickly should rather eat Balut than ordinary chicken eggs since "it is more nutritious with the developing baby duck and bones, etc". BY THE WAY, THE BALUT IS ALWAYS BOILED AND SERVED HOT IN THE SHELL WITH ITS SMALL PACKET OF SALT (ASIN) WHY DON'T YOU DO SOMETHING GOOD FOR YOUR PEOPLE AND PUBLISH THE ACCURATE FULL REPORT OF ITS CALORIES AND NUTRIENTS! YOUR PICTURES WERE OF UNCOOKED OUT OF THE SHELL BALUT! YOU APPEAR AS AN EXHIBITIONISTIC AND UNRELIABLE REPORTER NOT WORTHY OF TRUST! ALSO MANY OTHER SOUTHEAST ASIAN PEOPLES EAT BALUT!

John said...

Thanks everyone for all the comments about Balut. Just tried it for the first time (found a market in Chicago that sells them, but you have to cook it yourself). Really good. Like hard boiled eggs with meat that's the texture of cooked livers.

Your photos are really over-hyped. That must be the raw egg because the cooked one looks nothing like that. It was a hard boiled egg with brown areas and some patterning.

Anonymous said...

eddie,


I agree with john & the anonymous guy. I'm from Cebu City, Philippines & I am disgusted with your sissy overexplained ranting regarding your balut experience. You are a talented & creative writer but I doubt that your account is of your own personal first-hand encounter. Your article lacks substance justifying how good balut is for others, its nutritive value & history. Duck-raising & the arts involved serving it as food, including the preparation of balut is not a Filipino thing, you of all people , as a gourmand & probably a Filipino of Chinese descent should know, that it's story can be traced back to China. You are not just sent a worldwide message how bad balut is for you but also had consequently typewritten YOUR IGNORANCE all over your write-up. I second the motion that your unshelled balut pic is of an uncooked one. Every cook & foodlover around the globe knows that all animal(including bird, fish, etc.)blood & blood-vessels tissue turn brownish in color and cake-like in cosistency when cooked, never stays reddish & slimy as you insidiously overclaimed. By the way, the true-blood Filipino balut-eater's approach in initially breaking the COOKED balut egg, in order to start sipping its soup, is to crack the egg on its BROAD side, not on the conical side, like what you said. It is now a common practice toss a little vinegar(the spicier,or the more aged, the better!) on top of a sprinlke of salt before taking a bite, or right after sucking its soup. I think that you chickened out on both duck-egg challenges, Mr. Lin, & probably you were just jotting down notes while watching a friend gobbling balut. Once again, I admire your superb writing talent, but this story lacks a big deal of information. Stop justifying your distaste for balut & telling the world that its bad, just because of the psychological conscientious imprint it may cause you. Get real, dude. Take that balut challenge once again. Take it in your native hometown with beer or scotch,if you like, along with the friendly neighborhood tough-guys. How about coming over to my hometown in Pardo, Cebu City. I'll be absolutely delighted if you join me, in your 3rd balut bout, over a log-necked bottle of Tanduay Rhum 5 yrs, or maybe a big kuatro-kantos bottle of Ginebra San Miguel.

DON'T BE A WUZZ...

Anonymous said...

eddie lin,

your reporting does lack information. why haven't you mentioned "PENOY"(the boiled duck eggs aged 14 days & below, without foetus)? the balutero sells them together with the balut(with duck foetus) eggs. penoy eggs also sell as good as balut eggs in the streetsides.
i'm a balut lover but my taste for balut does not have anything to do with my upbringing, it was ACQUIRED.
you can begin to acquire a step-by-step appreciation for balut by starting with sampling a PENOY.
maybe next time around, your writing won't sound like from someone whose conscience had just been raped.

Anonymous said...

People who make/eat/sell that shit deserve to be shot.

Ulysses said...

DUDE. Duuude. I am RIGHT there with you. Just tried my first (and absolutely LAST) Balut egg today. Ate it the same way you did...almost like a severely mentally-handicapped child misunderstanding the purpose of a biology lab assignment. I wondered for a while how such an atrocious little bastard could serve to arouse anyone...but here I am, six hours later, and I'd do ANYTHING to get my mind off of it.

Anonymous said...

ulysses,

just like your hellenistic namesake's origin, odysseus, some people are bound by divine intervention & phenomena to take the long way home. its going to be quite a long spell of time to take you from innocence to understanding. you guys also deserve to be shot, not via guns & ammo but get vaccinated-against the icchy-sissy bitchy ranting attitude b4 taking any gastronomical challenge. it was your choice, why regret it? its not like taking in poison & encouraging others to do the same.i advise you guys seek therapy if you feel your conscience was raped right after eating balut rather than yakking how bad & disturbing your balut experience was. converting to buddhism can be a sound idea for you guys.

KD said...

I've eaten two versions of Balut--chicken AND duck. I prefer the ducks myself. They make louder noises than the chickens do when ya chew 'em.

I do agree, however, that the photos were somehow doctored (too red) for more effect.

Alas, if you can't even handle simple Balut, I doubt you could handle cooked cubes of beef blood.

(and, no, I don't worship Satan.)

Anonymous said...

As a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Philippines) in need of a Balut description I thank you...I"m also hungry now. Fortunately I live in a city where I can get Balut anytime I desire it.

Eddie Lin said...

Anonymous Peace Corp Volunteer,

I'm glad to be of service. I'm assuming you live in a fairly large US city since it's not super easy to find balut in smaller towns unless it's a small Filipino town. Enjoy your balut.

Anonymous said...

OK THAT WAS THE MOST DISGUSTING THING I HAVE EVER READ...I COULD NEVER...I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE PEOPLE ACTUALLY EAT THAT...THIS COMING FROM A PERSON THAT WILL NOT EAT HOT DOGS OR BOLOGNA, BALUT PUSHES THE LIMIT...IT'S A FETUS FOR GOODNESS SAKE...

Jennie Kaae Ferrara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eddie Lin said...

Jennie,

Thanks for the nice comment. I took a quick look at your blog thru your link and was curious about your background. Specifically food, of course. What is a Danish food you would consider exotic or interesting or uncommon?

Thanks for reading!

Jennie Kaae Ferrara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eddie Lin said...

jennie,

are you going to give me some headcheese?

bad eddie!

Jennie Kaae Ferrara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eddie Lin said...

Jennie,

Come on by! Don't forget the headcheese.

Joe said...

I have about a dozen Balut in my fridge right now. I want to use them aopproximately 3 weeks from now. Any idea if I can freeze them and thaw them just prior to cooking, or cook them and then freeze them?

joe AT yunx DOT com

Zoenie said...

This is really a great story. Some of my own pictures and a movie of my experience concerning Balut can be found at http://www.zoenie.com/fearfactor/ or just through the main link http://phpnuke.zoenie.com/

It was really delicious!

Frank said...

Really like your story about eating balut.

I have a girlfriend from The Philippines myself, and she loves the stuff. I've been with her to The Philippines a couple of times, but have not managed to eat a whole balut. Have come as far as taste the liquid and eat some of the egg white. Didn't manage to eat any of the small duck inside.

Maybe sometime, but I don't see me eating one of those soon.

Anonymous said...

your pictures are graphic. does it actually look like that? my mom would normally just boil duck eggs. we'd eat it with salt/ pepper and some sprigs of mint. it's probably my fave dish. id like some right now, actually. i ate it when i was younger and went thru a stage in high schoool when i realized it was a baby duck i was eating. food's physcological. you have to be willing to try... did you know it was a challenge on fear factor once? i'd probably win a million dollars if they challenged me to eat weird things...i heard in korea, they only breed a specific type of dog to eat...i couldn't eat dogs, though it's a stereotype that vietnamese people eat dogs...anyhow, i love your blogs.. keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

balut is not like that i mean me and my family eat it all the time
and if it is do not pay any attention i mean we all think it's
good

Eddie Lin said...

joe,

no idea how to freeze those suckers.


zoenie,

thank you for the compliment and thanks for sharing your balut experience with us.


frank,

your first taste of balut was exactly like my first experience...except i wasn't dating the girl. i wanted to though.


anonymous 1,

yes, balut is very psychological for me as well. regarding "fear factor" they would never let people like us on the food challenge part. i wouldn't do very well in the physical stunt department so i guess i wouldn't win the money. i would eat dog if i was at a restaurant that prepared it properly. i'd probably eat it in korea.

anonymous 2,

say what?

panoptican said...

MMM, boy. That looks like some good eatin'. I rather enjoyed the write-up. You're certainly braver than I. Anyway, I'm new to the blog (and also lazy), do you suppose you can point me to this tentacle post that everyone is talking about? Lastly, y'all keep up the good work.

Danga61259 said...

Hello, just came across your blog. Well written, very well written. Balut has fascinated me for awhile- haven't gathered the courage to try it though. yet BBQ'd lambs heads or organ meats don't bother me. I am looking forward to "live tentacles". I live in Long Beach, Ca., are there any places, in LA, perhaps, where true, exotic food is served? I am speaking of insects (those giant water beetles), various amphibians and such. can anyone help me with my culinary quest? Thanks, Daniel

Eddie Lin said...

panoptican,

you can click on the july 2005 date on the archive list and find more live tentacles than you'll know what to do with. promise.


daniel,

for bugs go to typhoon at the santa monica airport. also, the prince in korea town has silk worm pods as well as the infamous live tentacles. enjoy.

Kosmonaut said...

Phew. You've got more stomach for these extreme foods than I do, but I really love your writing and photographs. I'm a food photographer myself. Glad to have found your blog, and will be adding it to my RSS reader.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eddie Lin said...

Kosmonaut,

I like your blog too. Thanks for the nice comment.

cat said...

Hi Eddie! I love this blog. kudos for trying something out of culture. I don't see any problem about you "failing" to include how locals or natives like balut, or the dietary and nutritional value. It's your personal experience, told the way you saw and felt it, not a dissertation.
It's not your fault if the egg was too old; you didn't pick it, right?
And to everyone who thinks this is disgusting, particularly non-Filipinos, look up ethnocentrism, and do the opposite.

p.s. I've eaten a live cricket. It was crunchy. and wiggly. Yum! XD

Anonymous said...

I think I just vomited in my mouth....

Anonymous said...

Dude,.. you had me cracking up so hard that my stomach hurts. Great writing! I know the feeling. I grew up with filipinos and have attempted the dirty deed of eating balut more than a few times, yet never succeeded.

Eddie Lin said...

cat,

thanks for the really nice comment. it's all about a good attitude with this exotic food thing. it sounds like the crickets you had were *gulp* still alive!


anonymous,

vomiting in your mouth is better than vomiting in your earhole.


anonymous 2,

thanks very much. you should try it some day and really appreciate the tale i told. peace!

Anonymous said...

Sir Eddie,

aside from balut what other pilipino food are there in america.

would you like to try other kinds of pilipino food? such as crickets with round flat heads usually caught amount rice paddies, fried.

or bayawak, its a lizard, caught in the wild and either fried or boiled.

how about the different kinds of bagoong. these are "fermented" binurong food" small shrimp (pink paste) small fish (brown paste) and once small talaba (oysters) and they smell, i mean really smell.

but the food we eat here in the philippines are not that unusual. if there are folks here that eat cat (siopao, just kidding), and other people eat humans. all are stomach food anyway (pagkain tiyan)

Anonymous said...

would you like to try filipino foods like sinigang? (sour soup with pork)

Eddie Lin said...

anonymous & anonymous,

yes, i would try any of those things both of you mentioned. however, i usually eat what is served in a restaurant or is traditional to the specific culture. if i can find those things you mentioned in the US, that would be even better.

Anonymous said...

Back in 1981 I was stationed aboard the USS Thomaston out of San Diego. One port of call was Subic Bay and the infamous Olongapo City. It was there I first encountered balut.

I can tell you first hand it is much easier to eat for the first time if you are extremely drunk with friends 'egging' you on!!

Anonymous said...

BORN AND RAISED IN THE PHILLIPINES AND I THOUGHT YOUR POST WAS FANTASTIC. SCREW ALL THESE IDIOTS WHO FEEL YOU DID THEM AND OUR HOMELAND AN INJUSTICE. YOU WORTE WHAT YOU FELT AND WHAT YOU WANTED TO CONVEY TO YOUR READERS. I SALUTE YOU AND I'LL MAKE SURE TO RAISE A GLASS IN YOUR HONOR THE NEXT TIME I GET DOWN ON SOME BALUT.

KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK

B132FORCED

Eddie Lin said...

anonymous,

thanks for sharing your drunken balut adventure. i shoulda had a little somethin' before chokin' down one but i had to keep alert and remember every detail for the article. next time i'll booze it up.


b132forced,

thank you for having my back. and thanks for understanding. sometimes i just feel so misunderstood.

Anonymous said...

I left the UK a vegetarian, but as a volunteer in a childrens home in the Philippines, I had to eat whatever was served in the home. I had no problem with this... until I was challenged to prove myself a "real Pinoy" - by eating balut. Quite a step, considering a few months ago I was such a conscientious veggie I avoided gelatine and animal rennet! I managed, but cant say I enjoyed it! I think the worst thing was the veins running through it. The balut I had was younger than yours, but your blog certainly captured the terror for a westerner facing it for the first time! I would certainly recommend that you try some more Filipino delicacys - bagoong (perhaps on a slice of sour green mango) dinuguan (blood porridge), day old chick (deep fried) sisig (fried pigs ear) ... of course they have many more appetising dishes (my halo-halo re-creation attempts have been dismal), but probably wouldnt interest you!

Anonymous said...

I'm from Houston and got this co-worker (filipino) trying to get me (black) to try it cause he knows i'm into trying strange and different foods, after this story i'm even more scared but excited as ever but you really could have kept the pictures as a surprise to myself. thanks for the heads up

Anonymous said...

I dont like how they portrayed the colors of the balut, its almost too high in saturation and contrast, although the colors are appealing to the eye, but not the stomach. the balut looks very bloody in the pictures. It actually is more BROWN than it is red at all.

Anonymous said...

WOW, you succeeded in making eating balut sound like a horrible experience. It is far from it! Not only that, eating it will make you a Sexually Potent Male Tyrannosaurus in the Sack, what female doesn't want that, lol!!

Chris (thelast.adam@yahoo.com)

Eddie Lin said...

anony1,

thanks for sharing your culinary journey with us. yes, the veins on the balut is quite challenging to look past, however for me the most difficult visual aspect of balut is the newly sprouted feathers. ralf!!


anony2,

best of luck to your balut meal.


anony3,

thanks for your comment.


anony4,

if i wanted male sexual potency, i'll just pop a viagra. the only "rise" i got out of eating balut was the hairs that stood up on my arms. frightening.


Thanks all.

mercy said...

i've lived in the philippines all my life and never heard of that story! haha =) i enjoy eating balut though most of my sisters can't stand it!

as a guide for those who want to try balut but are scared, try to saute it with garlic and other stuff. =)

blusun said...

I ate Balut numerous times in the PI. The first time it was not not loose face. After that it was OK. The main issue I had with it that it tasted like fish because of the snails the ducks ate.

Manang said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Manang said...

Hi eddie,
I am a Filipina married to an American who is so fussy when it comes to food (even his mom complains!). It is so good to see our food from your perspective. You are daring, yet you still have that disgust over balut, I will never even try to let my husband see me eat that (if I get the chance to get one again). There was a time when we had a "major" fight over some dried squid that I cooked one lunch time when I did not expect him to come home early. His face was indescribable the moment he had a sniff of the air inside the house (it was a winter and I was alone, so it was time for me to savor Filipino flavors that I missed). He was so offended and told me he wanted to come home and not be driven away by such smell! And I said I was not expecting he would be home soon, but I did have cravings for such Filipino foods that he must learn to understand and accept (especially that I never forced him to eat any of them, or any other American foods less palatable to him). After that incident, we learned to respect each other's food preferences, whereas before I thought it was funny that he was grossed out by many things we Filipinos eat (just like your friend who first introduced you to balut).
The fish head (including some belly) is my fave part of a fish, and I try to eat far from him (where he can't see me eating it), or I set it aside to eat at a later day when I would be alone. At first he could not kiss me for 3 days after knowing I ate fish head (I don't eat small fish head, because it is the meat inside that I like, so I eat big fish heads, but I do serve the fish head on the table). However, I never serve such foods that appear gross to my husband during gatherings, not because I am embarrassed, but I have learned to respect other's opinions on foods unusual to them, so that I avoid offending them. It is a different story for my American friends (or even in-laws) who are open to new foods.
I was laughing upon reading that you thought the taste was anticlimactic. It is, really. All your (and other foreigners')fears and all the sensationalized write-ups about balut do tend to bring disappointment for those who had the courage to try it. It was an acquired taste to me, and I would not eat balut with feathers.
I am soon going to cook chicken feet (adidas) and am in the hunt for some Chinese recipes for that. Maybe you can help me?
I wish my husband was even half as adventurous as you when it comes to food.

Cornloaf said...

I just tried balut two days ago at a wedding. A few weeks ago, the groom convinced my brother and I to try it at the wedding. We were both drinking and we agreed.

He busted them out at the wedding and they were nothing like the ones I have seen on TV and on the web. They were running and soupy. The duck was red with a veiny membrane that covered everything. The yolk was bright yellow like street markings.

I was trying to back out and I told him that all the balut I have ever seen was cooked, and he told me that he's always had it raw in the bars in the Philippines and at his relatives' houses.

My brother and I ate our balut and took our shot of whiskey. It was a little rough when we had to chew the raw fetus a couple times in order to make it easier to swallow.

The next morning I felt just a bit weird. My brother called and said that he felt like he had a belly full of yolk. That was exactly how I felt too when I thought about it.

When I looked at the pictures that were taken that day, they are much more gruesome than the ones in this blog.

Eddie Lin said...

mercy,

thanks for the comment and the tip to make balut go down easier!


blusun,

snail-flavored balut??? okay, i'll do balut again just to try that.


manang,

thanks for sharing your tragic story. i dated and lived with a vegetarian. she objected to my diet even though she knew about it before getting involved with me. she was gone in a month.

i'd get a divorce if i were you.

Eddie Lin said...

cornloaf,

hey, was the wedding in the states? i've never heard of raw balut but i wouldn't be surprised if people ate it that way. there are plenty of asian markets that sell uncooked balut. you are supposed to cook them but perhaps some people don't know or don't want to. balut is most definitely one hundred times gnarlier raw than cooked.

thanks for the tale from the darkside. remember to cook your food once in a while.

peace.

Cornloaf said...

Yeah, the wedding was in the San Francisco area. He said that sometimes he warms them up a tiny bit and that he knows of people that put a little salt or vinegar on it when they eat it.

I think it would have been much easier to eat if it was cooked.

Here is a link to the pic :

small : http://www.deadagain.com/balut-small.jpg

large :
http://www.deadagain.com/balut.jpg

Eddie Lin said...

oh cornloaf,

you have to cook that thing! i just saw the photo and, man, i wouldn't have eaten it in that manner. i don't know, maybe it would've just been slimy. i don't have a problem with raw eggs - but raw balut?? yikes.

Anonymous said...

You need to eat this while you're drinking beer. Eating it by itself, the balut tastes bland. After a six-pack or two, it actually tastes pretty good.

Anonymous said...

I believe they ate balut on one of the Survivors didn't they? I vaguely remember Bobby John with his mouth half full of duck fetus desperately trying to choke it down without vomiting.

Boy Boy said...

You did a very good job on decribing it. I actually couldn't wait for the next picture and sentence. I have a question are you filipino? I am and I love Balut. Anyways good job!

Eddie Lin said...

anony,

yes, balut was on "survivor" and i believe "fear factor" as well.


boy boy,

thanks for the compliment. i am not filipino. i am chinese. the interesting thing i discovered from researching balut is that the origin of this delicacy is believed to be chinese although today it is not a popular item within that community.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely Nauseating!Do you people also eat human embryos?

Anonymous said...

This Link apparently says that there is nothing wrong with this from a Biblical perspective. However, I think i will satisfy my hunger by going after the mature adults (ducks). And Not this =) Great article tho.

Eddie Lin said...

anony,

your question: "do you people also eat human embryos?"

my question, who are you referring to as "you people"? i can answer your question better with that information. however, most likely, my answer would be: no, "we people" do not eat human embryos. not even if it's as good as really awesome duck embryo or a nice, juicy burger.


anony,

thanks for the biblical quote link. yeah, i'll take a tasty roast duck over balut any day. fugedaboutit!

Karen said...

hello eddie, nice blog!
you've forgotten the most important way of eating the balut... in the dark! so you won't have to see it... that's why they sell 'em mostly at night. hehehe
i never liked balut and never planned on trying it. but if people have been eating this for years and never died... so i tried it ;-)
twice... the second time was the last time coz i ate a mature one that made me spit out the beak. hehe
ok enough description.
always in the dark eddie... always in he dark.
but i must say you're pretty brave for doing this.
-filipina

JM said...

i love the way you wrote that, i eat ablut, but i can never eat the fetus i always end up giving to my mom or dad or something but yah that was great

Jen said...

LOL. That is hilarious. I'm Chinese-Filipino, and while I don't eat balut, all my relatives do. It's the young thing that bothers me as well. Even with ordinary eggs, I only eat the whites. Very funny!!!

Anonymous said...

eh, your pictures are totally misleading. The balut in your pics looks all red and gory and yucky and bloody (maybe it's the restaurant light? --or did you photoshop them for effect, hmm?). In real life balut has NO red colors like that in your picture. The fetus is a benign brownish-gray, with the veins the color of the dark part of cooked fish. Of course if you had posted more realistic pictures you may not have elicited so strong reactions from your readers....

danceswthcobras said...

Raw balut does look like the photo actually. It turns brown on cooking. I've eaten it both raw and cooked. Here's an excerpt from my own blog about balut eating.

A stop by the Asian market today proved fruitful. Mostly I was after some durian to cheer me, but they had some balut on the counter and I figured I'd introduce the boyfriend to the culinary experience. It was going to be a win-win situation either way - either I'd have the amusement of watching my boyfriend eat a duck embryo, or the amusement of watching him make the same kind of faces he made after his first bite of durian. In the latter scenario I would also get his share of the food. Muahahaha. I am an evil genius.

Basically balut is a duck egg with a little baby duck inside it. I've eaten it both raw and cooked. Raw is probably inadvisable for health reasons, but I was curious and I'd heard it was done that way by some cultures, so I had to try it. Raw isn't particularly tasty, though the slimy and crunchy textures are more interesting than in the cooked version. Cooked it's completely inocuous and mild tasting with just a bit of crunch to the texture courtesy of little unformed birdie bones.

Aside from the gross-out factor which doesn't apply to me since I am completely feral and savage in my perceptions as to what constitutes food, balut is kind of boring. Basically it's a boiled egg with some meat flavor and texture. Tastes just fine if you are in the mood for a slightly chewy meat flavored egg, but otherwise nothing to write home about. I don't hate it and I don't love it either. If they were on a buffet table in front of me, I'd eat them in preference to plain boiled eggs because they have some meat inside. However I don't like them enough to pay $12 a dozen rather than $1.29 a dozen. And if I want to eat duck, I prefer a crisply roasted leg to a small undeveloped morsel wrapped in egg stuff. So generally I ignore balut unless it's a) conveniently in front of me or b) there's someone who needs introducing to a culinary fear factor for the amusement value of the thing.

The boyfriend got the chewy little embryonic duck head and I got most of the soft little embryonic duck body, and we shared the surrounding yolk and well-veined white. I was surprised that the gross-out factor didn't bug the boyfriend either. Kudos to him for being adventurous.

Anonymous said...

I just came across this site and I'm probably late, but you write so incredibly well, I enjoyed reading about this.
:)

westius said...

Just saw your blog - great work! I had balut last year when I visited the Philippines and the only way I could get thru it was with large quantities of Red Horse.

It wasn't the taste (that was OK - I mean, its just a bad duck omelette...) but the psychological impact of the half developed duck...

Anyway, I blogged it here...
http://misterscience.blogspot.com/2006/08/yummy-duck-embyros.html

Thanks for the blog guys - I am now a subscriber

Eddie Lin said...

karen,

do it in the dark! nice.


jm,

thanks for the nice comment.


jen,

very happy you enjoyed it. reading my piece is as good (or bad) as eating balut!


anony,

i just snapped the photo. no photoshop. no flash.


danceswthcobras,

thank you very much for your in-depth insight on the subject. fascinating!


anony,

it's never too late to comment and i'm happy you enjoyed it!


westius,

or should i call you mr. science? well thank you for subscribing. i guess you really like us! and yes, beer and booze makes everything better!

Bring The SEX Back into Cell Phones... said...

Better duck than some other gross things that i won't mention.

Anonymous said...

I remember now how disgusted I was after I ate one of them in Olongapo City, PI in 1966. It was in a dark bar and I had a few San Miguels but it still stays with me. I recall the texture of salmon and egg yoke flavor. I removed the head and feet before popping it on in and trying to get it down in one chew. Whew, never again.

Anonymous said...

Great article. I'm from the Philippines and Balut still creeps me out. The trick is to eat it in a really dark place (so you won't see any body parts). There's a bite-sized Balut, where they use quail eggs instead of duck. Tastier and less freaky.

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS!
i'M FiLiPiNO, AND i MYSELF WAS ANXiOUS AS HELL TO TRY BALUT FOR THE FiRST TiME, BUT THEN AGAiN, i WAS FOUR. AHAHHHA. BUT THAT'S GREAT TO SEE YOU TRYiNG NEW THiNGS - NO ONE THAT i KNOW BESiDES MY FiLiPiNO ELDERS WiLL EAT BALUT. NOT EVEN MY SiSTER, COUSiNS. AHHHAH. CONGRATS. iTS SARAP!

Anonymous said...

what are you. american? white? eat it.

del said...

Last time I ate balut was when I was five. I used to find it tasty but after I had the displeasure of eating one that was kinda old which meant there was a few feathers and fetus started looking like a duck. I threw up and never ate it again. Congratulations for conquering the balut! Try eating isaw (fried innards) or betamax (pig's blood in cubes) next!

Rebecca said...

Eddie,
Well done! Well written, well eaten. I couldn't eat it when I was in the Philippines. But I am not Filipina, so it didn't affect my "status".

The color in the photos is most likely due to bad lighting.

My fiance took me to meet his father's side of the family. After a few days in Manila, eating Western-style food, my first meal in the Province was dinu goan. Dinu goan is also known as "duck's last meal". A delicacy, it is the still-full intestines of a freshly slaughtered duck. This fine dish can be steamed or fried, and is served with rice.

I prefer it fried, which gives it a delicate crunch and added flavor. Steamed, it can be a bit rubbery.

Before I ate it, I asked specifically what was in front of me in each dish. Dog is still very highly prized on the table, I and was (ahem) doggedly determined to NOT eat it. Rick's cousin first told me the name of the dish, then explained clearly and plainly what it meant.

No one expected me to eat it. But I have always figured, everywhere I've gone, that food is part of the culture, and to fully experience and participate in the culture, I should eat everything I can comfortably and healthily consume. Plus, there's the politeness and hospitality factor!

I found that I liked dinu goan, though you won’t find me ordering it in a restaurant.

Unfortunately, finding that I like this stuff, the people who work for the family were instructed to make LOTS of it, and (in addition to 3 or 4 other dishes, thank God) we had dinu goan for the next 5 meals. So my lesson there was to not give compliments, no matter what.

I was offered balut. In our family's tradition, it’s picnic or drinking food. I concur with the Anonymous who recommended Ginebra San Miguel. God I miss that stuff!! Make sure you have a big bottle of clean water at your side -- take a shot of "Gin", then a big glass of water -- or you will pay later. We got in the habit of drinking it tequila shooter-style, with calamansi instead of lime.

I passed on the balut. The family explained it was like an initiation. "All" Filipinos eat it (though clearly that’s not true), it’s a way of proving your filipino-ness. "You only need to eat one," they said. But they didn't push it, either. I got a nickname instead, so when I get text messages from the other side of the planet that start "Regards to Tita Barbie," (blond hair that actually caused traffic jams over there), I know I don't need to eat stuff to pass a test.

Keep up the good work!! Kids eat balut. I wasn't embarrassed I couldn’t, because I decided I WOULDN’T.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ed
I'm a Filipino and at first its hard for me to eat Balut because I can see the hair of the young chick I like to eat only the yellow part its so delicious...even my children will not eat the young chick. What I'm doing so I can it the chick is by not looking at it. We are selling Balut and it should be cook boiling for 30 minutes. Nobody try to eat it raw, even ordinary egg is hard for us to it it raw.

jayarbond said...

nice story...

i'm a pinoy and i love balut so much...

junovie said...

there is one secret you guys dont know...you know why its served at night?...coz filipinos themselves dont like how they look...;)...those that eat it out in the open are used to eating it...i for one eat it in the light...it makes you appreciate the food more...and yes, the best part is the "embriotic fluid"...kudos to you though...one of my japanese aunties was so horrified at how they looked, they called em "aliens"...hehehe....

Anonymous said...

Eh, pretty interesting. As a Filipino I've seen my dad eat Balut a couple of times. It's always something that has facinated me and definatley something I would never eat. If I ever tried Balut, even with me being so used to the idea of it and what it looks like, I'd have a pretty identical experience. Hell, I'd chicken out like your first time.
- Someone mentioned something rather funny about Balut being given to boyfriends or friends of Filipina girls. I've never heard of that before, but if its true, I could only imagine the look on the fathers face as the boyfriend tries to eat it.

anh said...

Hey Eddie,

Great post, very well written, although I probably could have done without the photos. Eck even for a person accustomed to the food, the sight of it still gives me goose bumps. Viet people eat balut as well so I basically grew up with this type of food. Chicken embryo eggs are also consumed, and those suckers are slightly smaller so not as gruesome to down. We normally eat it with salt, pepper,lemon and vietnamese coriander.

If you are looking for another place to sample this tabooed treat then look no further than the Asian Garden Mall in Garden Grove. They sell this stuff in the food court. Last I checked they'll also stir fry it with tamarind sauce. How's that for some fun?

One of these day's it would be cool to know your impressions on the viet dish called thiet canh - duck blood pie.

Annerose said...

These comments have been invaluable to me as is this whole site. I thank you for your comment.

RAYN said...

hey...



it's not as bad as it looks.....









actually its quite good...






i love balut...



hehe..

Phil Ehrnandez said...

At the end of this Music piece in the Philippines the American eats a Balut. It is hilarious.

http://www.vbs.tv/player.php?bctid=1118015135&bccl=Mjg0OTQ3NzE4X19NVVNJQw

Anonymous said...

How is it that a Filipina will eat Ballut but wont give me oral sex... sad very sad... :-)

Anonymous said...

Mmmm delicious! I wouldn't want the ones that are a bit too developed though, since it has small (but biteable) bones. I want the least developed ones since it's a lot softer to ear.

It sounds disgusting to foreigners, but little do the foreigners know some filipinos also do find it disgusting (especially the ones developed into a duckling. That protruding duckling head will turn off half of those who see it).

To those others who dare to try one, good luck finishing it!

Erle said...

Filipino here :)

One way to make the experience less traumatic is to let the initiate eat the balut in the dark of the night, so he wouldn't see what he's eating.

That is the reason why baluts are sold in the night.

Anonymous said...

Hey Eddie,

I have a friend with your exact name! But he has just recently graduated from high school. A couple days ago I had an extreme craving to try balut again; as I didn't quite remember the taste of it or any memories reminiscent of devouring the fetus..
But right now I have just boiled a couple of them and it's crazy to think how in demand they are right now!! I had to visit 4 stores and was stuck in traffic for 2 hours before I became sucessful. :D I would just like to say IMPRESSIVE review!! I haven't even worked up enough courage to eat the baby duck yet! Weeell I bit it, chewed on it a little and spit it out because it tasted too much like blood..but I'd just like to say your vocabulary is stunning and probably as impressive as your list of exotic foods. I'm off to read the rest of your reviews now! Thanks for the entertainment!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Eddie - It's me.

Nice job. . .sort of reminds me of the movie Alien. . .I bet it gave you horrendous gas that could melt wallpaper off the walls. . .

Anonymous said...

you wrote the lines well ... but you lack infos, if you want to blog on different food cultures you should've studied well on its history too not just listen to hear-says. lol do not abuse your ignorant readers, be more responsible in writing cos for all you know you are degrading a very rich culture than you have. Culture is the best foundation for your food tripping Mr. Lin, I say be more responsible and Im sure you'll be even more a good writer ;) have a nice day

Ai

Javier said...

I was born in the Phillipines and left when I was 6 years old to Venezuela, went back when I was around 14 for vacation with my parents and remember being at my grandpa's home at night when I heard someone at the street shouting "baluuuuut, baluuuut". I asked my dad what was that and he explained to me about it, he bought some, I ate it, delicous, yummy, etc. But now 30 years later I haven't been back to the Phillipines and I really wouldn't know if I would try one again. But anyway thanks for the memories.

Jamie Legaspi said...

Wow.

I have to say, this is the most amusing, and picture-wise the most disgusting thing I've ever read. I found this on Wikipedia after reading about eggs in general.

I'm Filipina, and I cannot STAND eating balut--probably because I was raised in America. When I was little, my dad used to tease me by unwrapping balut so we could see the duck and going, "Mm, this is REALLY good! You want some?"

Ironically, one of my favorite foods is the hyper-salty red duck egg. It's pretty normal compared to balut, but you absolutely NEED to eat it with rice or else you'll get a horrible stomach ache. I found that out the hard way, and my mom laughed at me when I tried to eat one like an ordinary egg.

Your stomach is WAY stronger than mine. Kudos to the fabulous article, and all the shock-tastic pictures accompanying it.

Lumpy Rutherford said...

Wow. As I review mundane things and happenings I could never review something as exotic as balut. Nor could I eat it. I'm glad you wrote about it so well, now I don't feel as if I have to. So thanks for that!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and nice job writing.. I was laughing the whole time. You intimately described how westeners and other cultures would react when experiencing balut. I'm Pinoy by the way and had several balut myself. I don’t know why others are offended by your writing and think you disrespect the culture. Baluts are tasty, tastier than plain boiled egg in my opinion. You should try them again!

SL

Anonymous said...

Eddie,

YOU. ARE. AWESOME. I am a thirteen year old New Zealand (south-east of Australia) girl, and am researching for my speech on strange food. After seeing your posts on live octopus tentacles and balut (both of which I will be including in my speech, in the hope that I will make my peers cringe as you made me), you know what, I think I will be mentioning YOU and your website as well.

LOL and I thought TRIPE sounded bad!!!

Thanks for (indirectly) helping me with my speech, and wish me luck! (I'm not what you'd call a natural public speaker).

I don't think I'll ever be able to eat a whole balut, but if someone ever offers it to me, I'll try!

Anonymous said...

hahaha...yeah i waas laughin at your experience...

but yeah eating balut is normal to me i've been eating this thing back in the philippine and in the states...yeah i like it its pretty good espesially the young duck inside...and oh yeah also the yellow part...i like to put salt on it before i sip the juicce and eat the duck and the yellow part...i can eat that thing like everday...i think its a good source for protein....yeaaaah!

p.s.
oh yeah if it cooked properly the duck inside should be soft you wont even feel it when you eat it...oh yeah i also eat the white part(the rubbery texture part)

Anonymous said...

fowl embryos can not be aborted for it didn't came from the womb/uterus, however if you insist that eating fowl embryos is really a form of abortion so, If that’s the case, we might as well call our sunny side ups,poached, scrambled aborted chicken fetus, right? fyi, there's no such thing as fowl fetus- fetus applies to mammals. check the right terms first before trying to gross your readers okay?
fetal treats.... hahhahaha duck fetus!

Neal said...

I love that quote at the beginning. It fits where I am.

I tried balut in Manila a few years ago. It looked like a baby duck and tasted like egg. The locals seemed disappointed that I didn't wretch.

Anonymous said...

Actually, if you're a Filipino and most of your friends are into eating balut and you're not, the feeling is like getting teased for being uncircumicised!

Eating balut is like a ritual you have to go through.

Anonymous said...

That picture is raw balut.. not cooked. I'm hoping, you didn't eat it raw....

Eddie Lin said...

Anonymous,

Actually this balut is cooked. I ate it and it was definitely boiled but served at room temp.

Curious/Disgusted said...

Found this via Google.

Reading that made me want to vomit. The photo was even worse.

You are a sick individual.

Anonymous said...

yumyum

u sick siCK INDIVIDUa

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are disgusting. How the f**k do you justify doing this to another LIVING BEING?! Jesus f**king CHRIST man.

kristel said...

As a Filipina, I'm amused at how much balut strikes terror in the hearts of so many people, neither do I see anything alarming about that perception. It makes us look badass.

Personally, I've found that I'm much more sensitive when it comes to the smell than the appearance of whatever I put in my mouth. Roasted whole pig's head? Bring it on. Stinky, moldy French cheese? Not so much.

Anonymous said...

Balut! that's just the tip of the iceberg...try our "dinuguan"...that's pig's head,entrails and meat cooked in pig's blood.Yummy!!!

boredwell said...

just like ortalans in france and sparrow in viet name...bones and all...but feathers are plucked first

denz said...

SARAPPPPP!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

haha. you're such a baby.

Anonymous said...

SARAP NYAN D NYO BA ALAM! ITS TASTY DUN YOU KNOE!?

othello said...

Filipino here.

I enjoy this very grousome and graphic post. It's very unnerving really. It's like reading a Stephen King novel.

Mr. Anon. is right. There is a gentler balut and it's called penoy. It's a balut sans the musculatory, skeletal and pituitary system. Try it sometimes, it's much more bearable.

So...

How do you know if there's a Filipino in a crowd?

Answer: Shout "Baluuut! Baluuut! Baluuuut!" If somebody shouted back "PENOY!" That ladies and gentlemen is a true Filipino.

Eddie, I salute you...!

Carey Anthony said...

Well done! Balut in and of itself is an experience that needs little enhancement. Yet your words take a taboo topic and bring it to life like a duck paddling in a pond. :-) Descriptions like "saliva dangling from an incisor" only heighten the drama. Kudos for a well written, well informed analysis.

Anonymous said...

hey guys!! im really wondering why a lot of western people doesn't eat Balut!! or dont want to try either!!
you know what.. balut is very high in protein and it can give nutrition to our bodY specially FOR those who are low in blood!!(anemic) and it can give you a strong bone When you are old!! i just cant imagine how you guys who doesnt eat balut are so CHEEZZYY!! for me as a PILIPINO.. we are very proud TO HAVE have a nutritious and YUMMY Balut in our country and we are showing to entire world that we are not CHEEZZYYY!! like someone else.. I believe that God created that Balut to eat.. not to care for it as animal.. God made that purpose for EVERYBODY!!

Anonymous said...

I have just returned from Lipa City where I spent a month working through my company. I was asked if I liked duck eggs which I replied yes and only after the look of astonishment on the guys faces did i realise we were not on the same level. Anyway I tried balut and thought it was ok. Kinda beefy taste is what I thought but seeing someone describe it as liver, this would be a better description. The 'soup' is really nice and the rest (after you get your head round what you've just eaten) is also quite tastefull. Didn't know about all the myths surrounding though but this makes it even more intriguing don't you think?

Richie said...

It's actually not as bad as is portrayed here.

I'm Filipino, and though I have no love lost for balut (I don;t fancy it myself), I wouldn't say it's that bad. It's just different.

And, if you know Filipinos...it's almost a point of national pride to be able to eat practically anything. For one thiging, we can eat practically the whole pig...in terms of parts, and all...

Anonymous said...

Damn Eddie!

You're certainly braver than I am - I would never eat that crap! But your pics and story are great on the experience. But you know, there's another issue that I'm sure the Philipinos and defenders might be pissed about when I mention it!

Doesn't eating undeveloped animals contribute to their food shortages? Think about it - a full grown duck as a hen could contribute a lot more eggs to eat, and either hen or drake would have a lot more meat to eat, as well!

I mean, wow, I love deer meat, and one fully grown deer will fill up my deep freezer (and it sure as hell doesn't have beaks, feathers, or amniotic slime on it). But if I was gross enough to use the same theory with deer, as the Filipinos do with balut, that same deer would be gone in one night as a nasty, slimy, fetus wrapped up in a puddle of afterbirth - yuucckkk!

bruce roberge said...

Oh, I am so glad you are still accepting comments. That was perverse and marvelous at the same time. I have not laughed out loud and uncontrollably for so long in so long. My stomach muscles hurt. When I got to the nursery rhyme I had to literally read one word at a time because my eyes were tearing so much. Thanks for a great day..I read it three times and laughed just as hard all three times.

Steve said...

You've made my evening. So well written, so descriptive. And you should be very proud of having exposed yourself to something so very ingrained in another culture. I don't know if I would've had the juevos to do what you did, I certainly felt every bit of revulsion you did while reading about the experience. I think at least part of it was how good a writer you are! Cheers, and well done!

r a m e n i a c said...

Eddie,

brilliant post. simply brilliant. and that's some truly sick stuff you put in yer mouf. which makes it all the more brillianter.

Mike said...

I will stick to my scrambled eggs made in the microwave. I can never eat that in a million years.

Scott Cummings said...

that was freakin' hysterical.

having dined on balut back in my navy days IN the phillipines, i have to say, that was so accurate as to the physicalness of the feelings. lol. although it has been 23 years since eating this delicacy, after reading your piece, memory serves as though it was a somewhat savory something to eat.
at the time i was in the street half baked from a day of drinking, was dared, and thought after eating this item i was going to see MY insides. i did after all get to experience the feathers bit, and the bulging birds eyeballs was certainly going to be my undoing.
i came through it all ok, only gagged a couple of times.

all in all, i would recommed everyone to get out of their comfort zone and embrace this tiny bit of life. you never know, you could be the next zimmern or such.

thanks for the article i loved it.

ace said...

I enjoyed reading this.

But I have to admit, I am an avid balut eater...it is a great tasting dish, despite its taboos. When I eat it, I just eat it straight from the egg, without bothering to take in every detail of the poor unborn duck.

But I'm filipino, I've become accustomed to the way of life that surrounds this dish. At night, there are street vendors yelling out "BALUT" and as a kid, I would ask my mom for some money to buy some.

It's nice to see balut from a different perspective, well done.

Alex Rushmer said...

What a wonderful post. Fantastic writing about a fascinating cuisine. Awesome work.

Grey said...

I am Filipino and I eat balut. Only the yellow part and NOT the FETUS though. Hehe, I feel gross even when looking at the poor baby duck, also thinking of the feathers. Makes me wanna vomit.

shotgun said...

After reading your description, I don't find Balut so horrible. I have always passed up a chance of eating it. If I did my Pinay wife would probably never kiss me again. She live with her Lola Paran for ten years in Duenas, Panay the home of the Aswang (so I have been told), but she never cared for Balut or freshwater snails.

Anonymous said...

i think it is unfair that these balot loving ppl blasted Lin off for his review-he lives in a culturally different country!if im not wrong,there's a country (sweden?)which traditionally loves roast pig heads for christmas!would these balot loving ppl eat them?or eating silk worms in china?
but though one would feel disgusted at others food(its the cultural upbringing!)at least he ate it.and don forget,this story is about his experience.i don think that you guys would research on silk worms..roast pig heads,dog meat..or bulls penises when you tried to eat them..(oh btw,i think there's a place in america selling rocky mountain oysters!(deep fried bulls testicles).do u think that these ppl who condemns lin would be daring enough to eat these?but,lin should have respect to foods from other country as well by not overexaggerating them!^^

ceto donor said...

donorceto ...
samar
for me.us one who eat me about the balut.because us the student in business administration in Marketing, you should add some imformation related to this kind food food,that you can prove it.because the imformation do you post is not excatly discuss on the scren given..........but is of to you,if u improve or add information to make it clear for the one who visit of kind of article.... i hope you can do that.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha! How sad that you have consumed a balut that is overgrown! It is not supposed to have beaks and feathers yet--in which case, you should not have eaten it! (At least I would not have!) It's supposed to still be covered in "egg whites" and none of its extremities have become too apparent yet!

louie villanueva said...

You made me laugh and smile because what you described were all true.
You write very well. And I am glad you finally appreciated Balut.
But next time, try putting some very hot and spicy vinegar for added enjoyment.
Next week I'll start a Balut business here in Manila.

Anonymous said...

this is great. I, too, am SO frightened of balut. But this post gave me a teensy bit of courage.

katie said...

did you eat the yolk and white too? Bite through everything. more eggy or more poultry?

Which taste first, the chicken or th egg?

alvin said...

eddie,

Actually balut is really a good dish. I have several of them. I never heard of eating raw balut. You have to cooked them first. I prefer a balot aged 16-18 days. I'd love to eat balut with some spicy vinegar.

Actually, I am not suprised by your comments about balut. You really make me laugh by the way you describe balut. I never heard though about balut related to aswang.

Anonymous said...

I am from the Philippines and looks can be deceiving, balut eggs are good, I suggest trying one to experience Philippines.

mbaluyos said...

Balut in the philippines is peddled at night.

I'd like to think they do that so you won't see much of it. Aside probably from the reason that's supposedly an aphrodisiac.

image stitching said...

Hi. first of all let me say that i like your blog. I really enjoyed this post. Thanks.

Gabriel said...

I found balut to be a tremendously satisfying snack. The broth (yes the very life fluids of our unborn unasked participant) rich, and deep as a sousaphone. The head, soft as jello the skull an unexpected pineapple chunk (in the jello). Unable to tease my-self any longer, I pinched some salt, pepper, and fresh cilantro into the little hatch I had created. Mused briefly on how if things had gone differently the shall would have been broken from the other side by the young duckling's strong talons, beak, or quacking at the resonant frequency of the egg in order that it's walls might dance apart, or howsoever it is that ducks go about that particular bit of business. I am no ornitholigist. And make no promises regarding spelling. However, this I tell you true my friend. I stirred that balut up with a spoon and spread it over a nice piece of sourdough toast, still warm from the oven when I dropped it in the toaster. Balut is a fireworks display of winners. Soft boiled egg. Yes. Terrible metaphor inspiring broth? Go. Flavorful if uniquely textured meat? Oh yes. The nuturition derieved from eating organ meats, marrow, and even bones? Tad ghoulish by some reckonings, but true. More? Why yes. Prepared in as little time and effort as it takes to boil an egg, self contained, can be eaten with no utensils, hand sized, delicious, um, possesing cultural heritage, delicious, and honest. Yes honest. To look full in the face of the life which was ended so you(I, we whatever) might be fed. To remove the shrinkwrap from the disservice that is done to most our food, by making it as sanitised and souless as the corporations that profit from most peoples irrational dislike for the fact that plants grow in shit. And meat is cut up animals. And think that growing food and cooking it properly is difficult unrewarding work (more tricky than outright hard) My only regret is that the egg had not come from a duck I had raised myself. Earth must be fed.

Micah said...

Lol. My parents and grandparents often bring balut home. The juice, the yellow part, and even the white part are delicious :) But I can never bring myself to eat the little duckling. I usually just watch in horror as my little filipino grandmother takes it from me and slurps it down without even chewing....

Anonymous said...

Ehh, too sensationalistic for my tastes. I kinda have to laugh at people who "salute your bravery" because millions of Asians already eat this stuff. Do -they- get a gold star? Pff. No argument that the entry was well written, but to me it almost seeks to perpetuate xenophobia.

Anonymous said...

I am made of meat.

Mitch said...

ha i have ate this before it is actually pretty good
you all really need to try this its not disgusting
once you get over the look its not bad
but then again look and texture of food doesnt really bother me

Jes said...

I think there's a bit of exaggeration in here. Though, if you're first-timer balut eater, you should probably try turning off the light first before trying it.

Kevin Leversee at gmail.com said...

I won't scratch the rash I got from eating balut-I won't scratch the rash I got from eating balut-I won't scratch the rash I got from eating balut-etc.

I don't know why I continue to eat this from the old lady street vendor when I am drinking too many San Miguels. But I love it with suka and some salt. They like watching 'Joe' The Americano eat it. ah life.

Anonymous said...

So well written that I wanted to vomit after reading it and seeing pictures. I do believe I'm more inclined to want to be a vegetarian now more than ever.

Bill said...

I've found that the best way to eat balut is on an Olongapo street after imbibing,oh ,say 15,San Miguel beers....

Anonymous said...

hmm...parang mas maayos kumain ng duck fetus kaysa sa human fetus right????...mas maganda tingnan nyo ung sa eating human fetus sa china siguro baka hindi kayo makakain ng isang linggo!!!

Anonymous said...

"Balut is the culinary heart of darkness." That line alone warrants me bookmarking your blog.

Anonymous said...

I was served balut by a dear Laotian friend of mine...but we did not eat the fetus, as far as I know, no one in his family eats the fetus, just the egg yolk. The egg is cracked, broth is consumed and the fetus is thrown out. Congrats...I would not have done it.

Jo said...

my gosh, i can't believe that you can actually see the feotus, with head and all, i was presuming it would just be a blob.

Anonymous said...

I am a Filipina. My friends and I love balut especially after drinking beer. I can eat 3-4 baluts but I have never eaten the chick inside. One of my friends would be waiting for it. :) Balut is nutritious. If your up for a challenge, try it! Me, I'd just go for that challenge of taking 10 straight shots of tequila.

Gobo Fraggle said...

My friend tried a balut and it was rotten. Never again, the smell made my toes curl.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, i can't belive how terrified you are of balut, after all, it is one of the classic filipino favorites, here in the palompon, my older brother used to put me in his truck almost every night, buy around 6 balut, and eat them, 3 for him and 3 for me. as for the thrill of eating it, i do not find any. as for the fetus, i find it delicious. as for your pictures, they made me hungry.

Anonymous said...

hmn, strange how people can be so turned off by balut,
we filipinos enjoy it as a delicacy, as a plus, there are "some" cultures here in the filipines that eat worms, (here in leyte, the "worm" would be the coconut worm), and all filipinos eat all parts of the pig... including the brain..!!!

i dare you eat these filipino foods:

1. pig brain (from inasal pig)
2. balut (you're already done)
3. coconut worm
4. grasshoppers.

Oana said...

This is one of those times when what we eat that gets right down to our struggle with mortality. Eating in it's reality is a nasty business. This just another snack but with taboo right up in your face. Congrtulations on your bravery and great post!

mensajes claro said...

Congrats on a great post! I was laughing with/at/for you at every sentence. Balut is indeed with a capital 'B'.

Eddie Lin said...

Thank you all for your comments! After all these years, this balut post still provokes.

mensajes said...

i can't believe you ate it!!!

good job :)

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