Here’s a known shocker to many. The famous balut.

It’s a duck embryo, boiled and eaten from the shell. It’s a popular way by Filipinoes to tease foreigners. I believe people in countries who also have balut in their delicay ( Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) also do.

It has been featured by famous foodies Anthony Bourdain, in Vietnam, and Andrew Zimmern when he went to the Philippines.

I could usually take 3 or 4 baluts in one sitting, but eat the whole thing in one gulp. I don’t know if the way Anthony Bourdain ate that balut is really the way they eat it in Vietnam. As I know, Filipinoes eat baluts from the shell, I haven’t seen anyone eat it with a spoon. I am not that squeamish kind, but I’m kind of grossed seeing all those bits and pieces of the duck embryo, innards, bones and feathers.

Baluts in the Philippines can be bought 3 kinds, according to the incubation duration. Penoy are the unfertilized ones, taken off from the incubators after the first 7 days. This is kind of contradictory, because there’s no embryo. Actually, it’s just a boiled egg with a little stink, due to having been incubated for 1 week. Why 7 days? Thats the first time balut
makers check which eggs are infertile by candling. Any egg seen without an embryo starting to develop will eventually be sold as penoy.

The most common ones are 14 to 16 days balut. That’s the incubation days. These baluts has small embryos, easily palatable.

The strong willed usually prefer 20 to 21 days. The embryos are fully developed, and will hatch in few days. Balut incubated this long has full feathered embryos, the bones are well formed, and you will sure feel them in your tounge.


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