Around the world, we all have one thing in common, our obsession with food. We want to try food that is delicious, visually appealing, and a treat to our senses. However, some of us are more adventurous than others. They will go out of their way to find strange, unappealing snacks that will raise most eyebrows.
If you consider yourself an explorer of all things edible, do you think you are daring enough to try or even possibly enjoy the world's most unusual snack? Can you see yourself happily munching on balut?
What Is Balut?
When it comes to controversial food, balut is probably one of the frontrunners. It is a duck egg prepared at a set time so that there is a duck embryo complete with a face inside the egg. It is considered street food and is quite a delicacy to some people, those lucky few that don't cringe at the sight of it.
However, those who enjoy this unusual food encourage others to look past its stomach-turning appearance because it is said to be very tasty. In fact, they go so far as to say that there is nothing else like it.
So if you enjoy your hard-boiled morning egg, you can consider stepping up your egg game and try the balut egg. A balut egg is like a surprise package of nightmares with the yolk and a tiny duck fetus. For most of us, we prefer not to see embryos in our eggs, but in the Phillippines, they are licking their lips.
The Evolution Of Controversial Traditional Snack
Considered to be an exotic delicacy in the Philippines, balut has been around for many years. It was the Chinese who started devouring these strange eggs about 200 years ago. Then, it was seen as a high-class snack.
Now tourists and locals in the Philippines enjoy their delectable eggs with a few cold beers. To them, gobbling down a balut egg is as ordinary as eating a hamburger might be to the rest of us.
However, a hamburger doesn't make our bellies retaliate. In the Philippines, balut is simply a way of life, with hundreds of thousands of ducks producing eggs that will be enjoyed as popular street food.
How Is Balut Eaten?
Those who have mustered up the courage to buy a balut egg might be faced with the challenge of eating it. Balut eggs are served similarly to hard-boiled eggs, but it is served hot instead of cold.
When you order a balut egg, it is boiled for up to 30 minutes to get a perfect consistency. Those who want to try balut need to get cracking and dig in while it is still hot. This delicacy is typically seasoned with salt or soy sauce, with a few spices added in Vietnam. These spices are added after you crack your egg open.
So how do you actually eat it?
The dish is served with a spoon. You start by cracking the shell with your spoon and peeling it open. If you are still up for the challenge, you can sip the broth that fills the egg. After the broth has been removed, you will see two parts in your egg, the yolk and the embryo. Most avid balut fans eat the yolk first and save the tiny duck fetus for last.
What Does Duck Embryo Taste Like?
Balut offers several different flavors from beginning to end. This possibly adds to why it is seen as such a delicacy. It takes your mouth on a journey if you can just get your mind around it. The broth is described as being similar to chicken broth. The egg yolk is described as being similar to pudding, so pudding fans, your challenge awaits.
However, it is the last bite that makes us shudder. The duck fetus is said to have a bit of a crunch. It is not surprising since there will be bones and a beak to add to the crunch factor.
Is This Strange Food An Aphrodisiac?
This unusual snack is filled with nutritional benefits, especially for women. However, most women would prefer to take a multivitamin to get those benefits rather than embracing this odd snack. Men have a different reaction to balut. The high protein content in the eggs causes the body's heat to rise, resulting in a natural state of arousal. Therefore, this egg is often called Filipino Viagra.
It is said that 60% of men who enjoy a fertilized bird eggs believe that it improves their sex drives. This makes it a trendy late-night snack with couples happily chomping down on this dish before heading to the bedroom.
Are Balut Eating Contests Really A Thing?
Imagine joining balut fans in a contest where you consume dozens of these weird eggs in five minutes. If this is something that excites you, you should consider taking a trip to Northeast Philippines.
Balut eating contests are a popular pastime there. But wait before you book that ticket because if you are close to New York City, you might get to have your balut munching session without leaving the US. Thanks to Filipino-inspired restaurants like Maharlika and Jeepney, it is possible to get a crack at a balut eating contest.
These eating contests have become extremely popular with mind-blowing results. The current record is 40 balut eggs gobbled down in five minutes. People from New Jersey can test the palettes with the Filipino American Festival.
The balut eating record at the festival is 20 eggs in just under two and a half minutes.
Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Balut Eating Champion?
If you can get over the idea of eating a duck embryo, you can make it your goal to become the next balut eating champion.
Just think of the bragging rights that come with being the champion of something that most people would never consider eating. The competition is intense, with some very serious eaters bringing their egg-game every single time. The time has come to crack and crunch.