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Century or Balut

Which unusual egg do you prefer/want to try?


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Ears and Eggs

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Which unusual egg would you prefer to try, or if you have tried them, which did you prefer?




See vids below if you are unsure what century or balut eggs are.



 



Blord

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Century eggs. Very tasty with vinegar and soya sauce, hmmmmmmmm ! :D
 

InfinitusEquitas

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I don't really want to try either, I'm sure there are lots of both chinese, and phillipine delicacies that would appeal more.

That said, if presented with either or both, I would try them, just to expand my palate if nothing else.

Overall I think the balut would probably be more palatable.
 

Zeebit

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Ah, duck fetus swimming in noxious fluids. Yum! :drool:

The balut is my favorite and it is one of our national delicacies. I have tried both but prefer balut since it has a stronger and richer flavor.
 
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Ears and Eggs

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Anyone know where you'd find these eggs in North America?
 
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InfinitusEquitas

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Anyone know where you'd find these eggs in North America?
I would imagine in the trash... :p

Really though, I would expect something like those to only be available either by mail order, or in specialty gourmet stores. See if there are any large phillipino communities. As for century eggs... china town?
 

Blord

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Btw how did you know of these eggs unless you have some taste for it. :D
 

InfinitusEquitas

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I can't speak for 2007Rev, but when I still watched TV, quite often I would watch NG, or Travel Channel, or discovery. They have some shows that explore crazy foods.
 

Ears and Eggs

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Haha, same here. I first heard of them while watching TV shows about travel and foreign countries' foods.
 

Benm

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It's a very odd trade-off for me since i rarely eat eggs to begin with. I've encountered both balut and century eggs when travelling, but neither seemed particularly appealing.

As far as the taste goes, balut is not that bad really. You are not eating a rotten/spoiled egg, but on that has been fertilized and then cooked at some point along the way. There are different kinds of balut though, some having only a small basic embryo, others having something that looks more like a boiled alive chick.

The embryo stage isn't that problematic - its bascially a mix of egg with chicken, and only offensive because you know what it is, not because of what it tastes like or of its texture. Older balut is more problematic though, since the hatching chick has developed pretty decent bones by then, and the whole thing has the texture of chewing through fishbones or something like that.

For us westerners that concept seems unappealing. In the region where these are served, it is quite common to also eat small fish with all the fishbones in them and such.

These fish may be the exact same species we like to eat in the west, but if the fishbones aren't removed before cooking, few of us would enjoy the dish as a whole: not because it doesn't taste good, but because we'd be constantly spitting out fishbones while eating it.

For those interested: eating (fish)bone is perfectly safe, as long as you manage to swallow it. Once in the stomach the acid breaks down bone to a very flexible structure that poses no harm at all. The main problem is getting them lodged in your mouth or throath, requiring some impolite method of removal.
 

Zeebit

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Anyone know where you'd find these eggs in North America?
Balut dont last very long so dont expect to find much of these unless it is made there.

I would imagine in the trash... :p

Really though, I would expect something like those to only be available either by mail order, or in specialty gourmet stores. See if there are any large phillipino communities. As for century eggs... china town?
Thats Filipino :p

The embryo stage isn't that problematic - its bascially a mix of egg with chicken, and only offensive because you know what it is, not because of what it tastes like or of its texture. Older balut is more problematic though, since the hatching chick has developed pretty decent bones by then, and the whole thing has the texture of chewing through fishbones or something like that.
Actually it isn't chicken. Its the egg of a bird that is very closely related to the duck. We call it the "bibi", pronounced as "Bee bee". :)
 
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Blord

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Haha, same here. I first heard of them while watching TV shows about travel and foreign countries' foods.
I have seen the a show about two families who is eating the century eggs and fungus cheese. The French family was served the cheese and they ate it with taste. It was deliciously for them.
The same food was served for the Asian family and they found it smelly food. Very stinky and disgusting. ;)

Then the food was change to century eggs and the French women vomited on them. How can people eat such food she thinks.
The Asians found it delicious. :D

The cultural background makes what we are. Even to these extreme cases.
 

Benm

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@BenM, What's your take on century eggs?
I haven't eaten any, though i've seen them on rare occasions in asia.

As far is i understand they're usually presented in slices, cut in a similar way to how the parts of an orange are divived. The egg white should be a bit jello-like, with very little taste to it. Considering the composition of egg white that would be expected when you dehydrate it under increasing pH.

The yolk, however, is a different story. It should be something rather pungent, due to breakdown of proteins in there, as well as the precense of organosulphur compounds.

The process of making century eggs is comparable to that of making "lutefisk" in scandinavian countries: in that case dried, salted fish (which most people would not find offensive) is inclubated with an alkaline solution. This also creates a jelly like texture as with the eggwhites, but combined with a very pungent fish odor, which would probably be too much for most non-nordic pallets.


It all IS about how you percieve a foodstuff though. Western people will be inclined to feel that things like balut, century eggs or lutefisk are spoiled products. Their smell reminds us of how our food smells when it has spoiled over time. Fungus in or on cheese is a very similar thing though: it happens when it goes bad, and few people would consider eating a piece of Gouda cheese with fungus on it. Doing so is not recommended though, since if this happens unintentionally, it could be a strain of fungus that produces toxins, although most actually do not.

Another interesting ingredient is fermented shrimp (trasi), commonly used in asian cuisine, thai and indonesian in particular. While it is absolutely foul smelling pure, it makes a very good flavouring for many savoury dishes. Most westeners that have a bit of a taste of exotic food will happily eat meals that contain it, and in combination with the other spices not get the idea that the food is spoiled. I personally like it in some dishes, knowing perfectly well what it is.

In fact, it is an ingredient used to widely people that have severe food allergy to shrimp can be surprised by an onset of symptoms from eating someting seemingly unrelated as a cracker or salad.
 

ped

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Isnt the poison Lye used in lutefisk?

I saw it on Man v Food once :)
 




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