Balut – Duck Fetus
Balut is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. They are considered delicacies of Asia and especially the Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam and at Penguin Game viewing parties in NJ. Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, balut are mostly sold by street vendors at night in the regions where they are available. They are often served with beer. Michael, from WeirdMeat, describes the experience thus:
After you choose what kind you want, the vendor grabs them piping hot from the basket and passes you a little stool, salt, and a vinegar-onion sauce. You hold the hot egg and flick carefully but forcefully at the top of it with your middle finger. It cracks a bit and you gently remove a small hole from the top, so you can sip the savory broth before removing the whole shell. I agree that the 18-day one is better than the younger ones. You might come across some small chunkies but it’s usually just eaten all the way through, in about 3 mouthful bites. You can see feathers, head, wings, and skeleton forming, but it’s basically an extra-chewy easter egg.
Fertilized duck eggs are kept warm in the sun and stored in baskets to retain warmth. After nine days, the eggs are held to a light to reveal the embryo inside. Approximately eight days later the balut are ready to be cooked, sold, and eaten.