Wednesday, September 8, 2004


As Michele mentioned, we found a food stall at the local mall called "Balut Eggspress." You might have heard of Balut on Fear Factor, but it's a Filipino delicacy involving a fertilized duck or chicken egg. When the chick is still developing, it's boiled and eaten. You suck out the 'juice,' then eat the contents -- bone, feather sprouts and all.

It doesn't bother me so much that we found a balut place. What bothers me more is that it's a FAST FOOD balut place. Like McBalut.

We haven't had balut yet, and seeing as we've got only several months left here, I thought I might regret it if I didn't try. However, we already had lunch. ("I'd really like to suck down that duck fetus juice, but really, I'm stuffed.")
Like any good food court, they had free samples. It's like Chick-Fil-A, but without the fundamentalist Christian overtones... and mature poultry. Sadly, they had no balut samples. It's either whole balut egg, or nothin'. But they did have other samples: quail egg innards, which looked like little orange dumplings, and pieces of what the employees called "one-day-old-chick."
This was not cute furry Chicken Little. This was a skinny dead naked chicken corpse about four inches long. It had no feathers nor signs of feathers, and its eyes were bulging and bluish, rather fetus-like. It was fried without breading. They had a plate full of about 30 of them, all piled up like a mass grave. I don't see how they could be really "one day old," they looked like they weren't born yet.
Nevertheless, they were free samples. Well, not all of one. They cut them in thirds, lengthwise. I picked one up with a toothpick -- the head and upper ribcage.
Wisely, I bought an iced tea.
Michele and the kids wimped out. So I popped it into my mouth. For about a tenth of a second, I thought, "Kinda tastes like fried chicken." Then I bit down, and crushed its skull.
Then it was all bone fragments and squishy parts, mostly the former. The beak was particularly hard to get down. One shouldn't have cranial pieces stuck in one's teeth. Finger-Lickin' Good it ain't. I was queasy the rest of the day.
So I did it. And now you don't have to.

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