I love Balut! Yes, the fertilized duck egg with its nearly developed embryo intact inside is included in my list of comfort food.
Here in GenSan, I usually buy it from the balut vendors standing at the road corners with their tin cans full of warm, freshly cooked balut.
The other week though, while travelling along the highway of Barangay Baluan, going to the mangrove reserve, I noticed that roadside stalls selling nothing but balut have sprung up.
Of course, not wanting to waste time, I parked infront of one of the stalls and immediately tried their brand of balut delicacy.
The balut eggs, which were sourced from the duck farms nearby were displayed inside glass containers and were separated according to age. The 15-day old eggs (priced at P12) were on the left partition while the older ones were on the right. I noticed that they were still very warm to the touch, in fact they were steaming, which was a good sign.
Bariles Republic is quite the squemish kind and settled for the 15-day old balut. After cracking open the rounded end, peeling the shell and tearing the embryo wrapper, I poured a little of the stall’s spicy vinegar and added a pinch of iodized salt. I let the vinegar settle first by shaking the egg a little bit before I finally sipped the broth.
Oh God! It was pure heaven!
Then I went for the kill and ate the undeveloped embryo next while adding more spicy vinegar and salt. Yummy yum-yum!
My partner then challenged me to try the 18-day old egg. Still feeling “bitin” from the first one, I immediately agreed, not knowing any better.
Only when I placed the embryo inside my mouth and started chewing it when my tongue unmistakably recognized its beak, and worse, its feathers. I tried swallowing all of them but could not so I had to spit out the feathers. Sorry guys, am not the Fear Factor kind.
Next time, I will stick to my 15-day old balut. 🙂
How about you? How old do you prefer your balut egg? Try answering the poll below…