Or… the proper method of eating a semi-developed duck embryo.
Because one of the best parts of visiting any new place is enjoying local delicacies, I proudly introduce this step-by-step introduction to the Philipino treat known as Balut. Thanks to David in Ubay for patiently walking me through my first one.
Step 1: Pick it up.
Classier balut boys will offer eggs 21 days into development, while in the provinces it may be hard to find anything older than 18. Eggs, when presented, should be warm to the touch for the most flavorful effect.
Step 2: Break it open.
Crack the bottom of the egg on the nearest wall, table, or chair. This step is not dissimilar to eating a regular boiled egg, only more violent.
Step 3: Spice it up.
Your balut sales child, if properly prepared, will offer you a tub of salt and a bottle of pepper vinegar as an accoutrement to you balut. Add to taste.
Step 4: Slurp it down.
Once spiced to your liking, suck the juices out through the hole prepared in step 2. After you get over the initial kick of vinegar, its not half bad.
Step 5: Peel it out.
This step is where the process really becomes visually interesting. Peel the shell down until the semi-developed embryo and some of the white of the egg becomes visible.
Step 6: The first bite.
Spice it up again, close your eyes, and chomp down. The texture and taste are both rather agreeable, however be prepared for your mind to assail you with the image of the fetus as you bite into it. This image is somewhat unpleasant.
Step 7: Mop up the survivors.
This is basically a repeat of Step 6. Re-season and finish off your treat. In an 18 day egg, this part will be quite chewy. In a 21 day, it has been developed to the point of perfection.
Step 8: Repeat until content.
At only 15 pesos ($.33) each, feel free to order a round for everyone!