Balut makes its way to Las Vegas

Posted on March 12, 2009


I have been living alone in a flat with no cable TV for more than a year now, and I felt deprived of all my favorite TV shows. So after Schatz and I hoarded DVDs from Odeon (I must have bought more than 20 TV series!), I spent the entire Sunday catching up on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. I cannot believe I am  already 2 seasons behind 😦 In season 8 episode 3, Warrick and Nick are investigating the home of a murdered couple. Nick smells something funny in the kitchen and found what looked like a lump of intestines on the kitchen counter.

Nick: Whoa, take a look at that!
Warrick: That looks like balut.
Nick: What?!
Warrick: Balut, a delicacy from the Philippines.
Nick: …
Warrick: My grandmother’s best friend is Filipino, she lives in Manila.

OK, I didn’t catch “balut” the first time, because Warrick had said it in a weird way — sounded something like “slut”? When I heard “Philippines” and “Manila”, I had to listen again — oh, balut! The notorious balut made its way to Vegas! CSI Las Vegas, that is.  Oi, Warrick, balut does not look like that!



Notorious, because it is often used as a disgusting challenge in several episodes of Fear Factor, where they described it as a fertilized duck egg & they take pains to show the contestants the developed duck inside. The balut has also been featured as an exotic delicacy in various travel programs on cable. (If I resize the picture to a smaller size, will that make the egg less disgusting??)

A balut is a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. They are common, everyday food in some countries in Southeast Asia, such as in the Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, balut are mostly sold by street vendors in the regions where they are available. Balut are most often eaten with a pinch of salt, though some balut-eaters prefer chili and vinegar to complement their egg. 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. All of the contents of the egg are consumed, although the whites may remain uneaten. In the Philippines, balut have recently entered haute cuisine by being served as appetizers in restaurants: cooked adobo style, fried in omelettes or even used as filling in baked pastries. Wikipedia

I can’t say I am crazy about balut. I must have eaten tons of balut, but never the chick. My father tried to trick me and my sisters one time by making us eat balut at the backyard where it is really dark. He said the chicks in the balut he bought had not developed yet. But one bite into mine and I thought I tasted something slimy and squishy and spit out everything; that night, I was really mad at my father! Some people love to eat the chick — I can’t, unless I am a Fear Factor contestant and fighting for 50 grand!

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