“Baluuuuuut! Baluuuuuut!” these are the words spoken out loud by the vendor selling the ever so popular Pinoy energy snack balut. Modern balut vendors usually roams barangays riding a bicycle with a box container at the back to store the balut. The box is made of styrofoam which doubles as an insulator, and damp warm cloth to keep the balut in it’s ideal state of warm and moist. You can also find balut in plazas, as some night stalls close to the bus stops sells one. Most often you will see a wicked basket with some swaddled cloth, and inside are balut which always kept warm. Also a sign that says “Balut Available” are posted, so you’re definitely not going to miss it if your looking for one.
For those who are not yet aware, a balut is a cooked fertilized egg of a chicken or duck. In the Philippines, it’s mostly the egg of ducks which are used. It is very nutritious and high in calories and can give you a quick energy boost. That’s why it has become the favorites among Filipino liquor drinkers who wants to sober up.
There are two popular types of balut, and it depends on the maturity of the embryo, one is the “balut sa puti” which is at the early stage and the embryo is still small and not well developed. The other type is when the embryo is more mature, with beak, bones, feathers and such. Some might prefer the first type, others the later, but it always boils down to preference and taste, newbie vs pro, smooth vs the chunky, weak vs strong stomach…
Most people find this delicacy scary, terrifying and disgusting, as cracking open a balut posed a very unpleasant sight. The idea of drinking the amniotic fluids, and eating the head, eyes, wings, feet, the veins and feathers of the unhatched duck or chicken is something not everyone can stomach. But really, balut taste way better than what it looks like.
The proper way of eating it would be to crack open a hole on the shell (the end where there’s an air packet), add some vinegar and a pinch of salt to taste, then suck through the hole bottoms up. Try this as many times, until the fluid is all drain, then start removing the rest of the shell exposing the balut and all of it’s good stuffs. Again add some vinegar and pinch of salt, then munch it all up. You might bite into something that is white and rubbery, this is perfectly normal and no need to panic, it’s just the solidified egg white which has a bland taste and bit chewy.
Are you ready to try this? Go and find balut and share your thoughts about this food. 🙂