By now, a lot of people already know or at least heard of Balut, a very popular delicacy in Southeast Asia but particularly in the Philippines. What some people fail to understand, though, is that this delicacy, no matter how grotesque it may look like, is actually enjoyed by many Filipinos and other people from Asia.
1. Looks can be deceiving — I mean it!
Right off the bat, balut looks nothing more than just an ordinary egg – no BS, no trendy stuff; just plain-looking egg until you start to crack it.
2. It takes A LOT of courage to down a single balut.
After cracking, you’ll see that the insides are not actually that mouthwatering, hence why you’ll need all the courage you can muster just to take a bite of this horrifyingly good delicacy.
3. The taste is unique, to say the very least.
The inside of the egg may look like something that came out of someone that shouldn’t have come out, but the taste is actually quite unique. It has that perfect blend of weeks-old, somewhat hairy duck with a weird crunchy beak that may or may not get stuck in your throat (based on personal experience). Some say it even taste like chicken soup.
4. The “Soup” is a must.
Drinking the broth inside the balut, which was the embryonic fluid before it got turned into a delicious soup from the cooking process, is somewhat a ritual when chowing this delicacy. You crack one end of the egg big enough to let the juice flow and you slurp away Hannibal Lecter style.
5. This will be your gastronomic Everest.
Let’s be honest here. Balut eggs are not really that huge, but the thought of eating fertilized duck eggs – with said duckling still intact – will DEFINITELY make you think otherwise.
6. Some people eat it for dares.
Just like other popular street foods in the Philippines, balut also suffers from being the “dare” food to try. It’s used for when Filipinos dare their fellow Filipinos who don’t eat the delicacy, but mostly, it’s Filipinos daring foreigners.
7. It pairs well with beer.
During or even after, some people find balut to be the perfect beer match or something to eat after drinking your body weight in beer, but it is not recommended for someone who has high cholesterol or has high blood pressure. And also, please drink responsibly.
8. Some incredibly creative chefs actually manage to make dishes out of them.
While balut in itself is already a delicacy, some chefs just aren’t satisfied and they actually make and mix other popular dishes with the egg including the ever-so-famous adobo and the popular sisig.
9. It’s a surprise!
It may not be a Kinder Surprise Egg, but it is still an egg… and it’s a surprise. You definitely won’t get a toy when cracking it.
10. And more importantly, the experience.
Its exquisite taste, weird texture, and no doubt horrifying look, are only the tip of the iceberg. Many people eat this delicacy for the experience. And besides, this will look good in your book of all the adventurous food you’ve tried from the Philippines.
All kidding aside, balut is very much embedded in the Filipino culture as one of our proudest delicacies – possibly next to Adobo or Sinigang, depends on who you ask.
While the balut is pretty much synonymous to Filipino food, it was first introduced to Filipinos back in 1885 by the Chinese. The same fertilized egg is also served in other Southeast Asian countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam where balut is also popular, but with a different name. Think you can stomach the ultimate Asian delicacy?
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons / Judgefloro