Balut: Food Bacchanalia


(Image from Modern Farmer)

Madison Rich, Writer

Eggs can be Scrambled, fried, poached,  you name it, eggs are a great breakfast item, but thinking a lot about what’s in your egg is disturbing, to say the least. But what if I told you that there is a youtube sensation that gets millions of views called the Duck egg embryo Challenge. This is going around on youtube in asmr form. People from around the world eat fertilized duck eggs while whispering into a mic. Some people’s expressions say they seem to enjoy it which is odd because you’re eating a textured duck egg! The egg embryo is called Balut, which is a fertilized duck egg boiled and eaten in the shell while still warm. It consists of a fertilized duck egg that has been incubated for approximately 18 days (a period of time which results in the formation of a partially developed embryo within the shell.). Balut is recognized as a national food of the Philippines but possibly originated from China. The price for the delicacy varies in size, for a tiny(pee wee) egg it costs $0.75, small $0.80, medium  $0.85, and a large is $0.95. But why in the world do people buy/eat these? According to SFgate (San Francisco), the balut contains niacin (nicotinic acid), riboflavin and thiamine, which help you metabolize energy.


Metabolizing is important because it maintains vital body functions such as heart rate, brain function, and breathing.There are at least 188 calories in each Balut egg, with only 14 grams of protein and loads of calcium, iron and phosphorus. balut eggs are a healthy addition to an adventurous diet which is why they’re popular in the U.S. There are different types of Balut: the Cambodian version, “pong tia koun”, the egg is incubated for 18 to 20 days. In the Vietnamese version, “hot vit lon”, the egg is incubated for 19 to 21 days, when the embryo is old enough to be recognizable a baby duck and has bones that will be firm but tender when cooked. In the Philippines, balut eaters prefer salt, or a chili, garlic, and vinegar (white or coconut sap) mixture to season their eggs. The eggs are savored for their balance of textures and flavors, the broth surrounding the embryo is sipped from the egg before the shell is peeled, and the yolk and young chick inside can be eaten. In Vietnam, balut is eaten with a pinch of salt, lemon juice, plus ground pepper or ginger and Vietnamese mint leaves called rau răm. Balut is considered to be street food, and as with many street foods, balut should be eaten as soon as it is prepared. It’s hard to find Balut here in the U.S, but you can buy Balut usually online from a farm that harvests them. Metzer Farms created a website where you can purchase the eggs. If you’re looking for views on a youtube channel or your bored or its a dare, whatever it is if you have the time and guts you should try out balut, hey maybe you’ll like it!