Philippines Balut, I bet you haven't tasted it yet?
A seemingly innocent looking delicacy, Philippines Balut is like hot dogs to Americans. However, that is as far as the analogy goes.
Balut actually gives new meaning to the phrase “Looks Can Be Deceiving”. I have tried putting off writing this review for as long as I could as this is THE exotic dish that can really make my blood curl.
I actually prided myself as being the type of guy who can eat anything. Having already tried the Vietnamese raw duck blood soup called “Tiet Canh”, that is still nowhere near the hellish nightmare that I had encountered from tasting Philippines Balut.
So what is Balut?
Well, Philippines Balut is actually a fertilized three week old chicken or duck egg, with an embryo in it.
The embryos are formed with all the normal appendages that you find on a young duckling or chick, like the legs, partially feathered wings, complete with the beak as well! The partially formed skeleton of the embryos is what gives the Balut its distinctively crunchy taste.
The origin of this dish is said to be from Chinese’s "Maodan" or feathered egg in English. The Indochinese and Thaïs also have something similar to Balut. Nevertheless, it is the Filipinos whom have made this dish notoriously popular.
In a way, the Filipinos culture actually revolves around this dish. Only here in the Philippines can you get Adobong Balut, bottled Balut, pickled Balut, Balut omelet in addition to the traditional suck, peel and gobble variety.
The dish is also highly regarded as an aphrodisiac by the Filipino men. At least, we now know the secret of Filipino men’s virility. It is not uncommon for the Filipino men-folk to gather around in the evening for a drinking session with Balut as “Pulutan” (finger food).
Also the balut vendors are everywhere in the evening, cycling around the sub divisions crying out “baluuut, baluuut!” ensuring that you will never run out of this morbid Hannibal Lecter’s Viagra.
How do you eat Balut?
To savor the Balut, you need to tap the pointed tip of the egg to make a hole large enough to suck the broth out of the egg. Once you have managed to slurp down the amniotic fluid without throwing up, the next step is to peel the egg and expose the partially formed hatchling.
This is the part that really turns my inside out. I would seriously recommend those wanting to try this dish to really close their eyes at this point!
If you have watched Jeff Goldblum’s movie “The Fly”, the inside of the egg really resemble the result of a teleportation sequence that had gone terribly wrong.
As disgusting as it may sound, this is what the Balut reminds me of. The white is covered with a mesh of blood vessels like red lightning while another part of the egg features a coagulated mass of flesh that looks like it came from the “Elephant man”.
The way to eat the Philippines Balut is to sprinkle some salt or vinegar on it and then just bite down, chew and swallow. To tell you the truth, I never got to this stage!
Although in essence, the Balut is really no different from eating fish head or chicken feet, there is something totally different about trying to bite down a partially formed chick! Maybe it’s the helplessness of the partially formed baby hatchling that stops me, but I really do prefer that my food is biologically fully assembled.
Maybe if I have Jack Daniels close by to dull the senses, I would be able get past the biting part.
For now, I will just wait until the reality show “Fear Factor” offers me $50,000 to eat as many as I can, before I give myself another shot at eating Philippines Balut.
What did you think of Balut?
Have you tried Balut? Did you Enjoy it?
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What Other Visitors Have Said
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truthdweller balut Married in 2002 in Iloilo & visited in 2007...had balut and enjoyed it...if you like chicken soup, then you should have no problem.
Don't dwell on …
Balut / Pinoy Balut - both OK I have visited the Philippines for the last 3 years. The first time in 2009, of course I tried "Balut" and I regulary eat Balut sa pulutan (afternoon snack …
Balut I went to visit a friend that lives in Cebu.
He had me try Balut. Worst looking thing in the world and the idea struck me as gross at first.
Not a Balut virgin anymore I just had my first Balut!
I am in Manila with my wife and she dared (twisted my arm) me to try one.
I did it! It really wasn't so bad!
Balut is awesome. Especially the Liquid Not rated yet The liquid in the egg or balut is high in Vitamins BUT it is also high in cholesterol which not for people who has ailments connected to the heart E.g. …
Eating balut in Bohol Not rated yet As a chef food is my passion.
It's especially important to me when I visit a new country as I want to take in all I can, culinary speaking, of a region/country's …
Balut a Special Treat Not rated yet I live in the Philippines.
My family eats native food regularly.
Balut, though, is a special treat because my dad gets it like most other dads …
I ate balut! Not rated yet I was curious but made the mistake of looking at the embryo and chickened out the first time; however, I was determined the next time:
First, drink …