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If you love Marinduque and want to contribute articles to this site, please do so. My contact information is in my profile. The above photo was taken from the balcony of The Chateau Du Mer Beach House, Boac, Marindque, Philippines. I love sunsets. How about you? Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing your copyrights. Thank you and Cheers!

Tres Reyes Island view of the Marinduque Mainland

Monday, July 25, 2011

Do you like Balut? What is Balut?


My oldest son( Dodie) and oldest grandson(Ian) participated at a balut eating contest at Chateau Du Mer during our 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines in 2007

My American friends and acquaitances here in US and in the Philippines informed me they hate balut. But probably 99% of them have not really tasted it. They are just turned off by the appearance of an embryo and sometimes feathers. I love the 17-day balut( balut sa puti),because the embryo has no feathers yet- Yummy and tasty! So what is balut?

A balut is simply a fertilized duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell.

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. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines. They are common, everyday food in countries on Southeast Asia, such as Laos (where it is called kai ), Thailand (khai khao - ไข่ข้าว in Thai), Cambodia (pong tea khon in Cambodian) and Vietnam (trứng vịt lộn or hột vịt lộn in Vietnamese). They are often served with beer.

The Filipino and Malay word balut(balot) means "wrapped" depending on pronunciation.

Preparation

In the Philippines, balut eaters prefer salt and pepper and/or a chili and vinegar 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. All of the contents of the egg may be consumed, although the white may remain uneaten; depending on the age of the fertilized egg, the white may have an unappetizing cartilaginous toughness. 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. In Vietnam, balut are eaten with a pinch of salt, lemon juice, plus ground pepper and Vietnamese coriander leaves (southern Vietnamese style).


Chinese traders and migrants are said to have brought the idea of eating fertilized duck eggs to the Philippines. However, the knowledge and craft of balut-making has been localized by the balut-makers (magbabalut). Today, balut production has not been mechanized in favor of the traditional production by hand. Although balut are produced throughout the Philippines, balut-makers in Pateros are renowned for their careful selection and incubation of the eggs.

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. Vendors sell cooked balut from buckets of sand (used to retain warmth) accompanied by small packets of salt. Uncooked balut are rarely sold in Southeast Asia. In the United States, Asian markets occasionally carry uncooked balut eggs. The cooking process is identical to that of hard-boiled chicken eggs, and baluts are eaten while still warm.

Duck eggs that are not properly developed after nine to twelve days are sold as penoy, which look, smell and taste similar to a regular hard-boiled egg. In Filipino cuisine, these are occasionally beaten and fried, similar to scrambled eggs, and served with a vinegar dip.

The age of the egg before it can be cooked is a matter of local preference. In the Philippines, the ideal balut is 17 days old, at which point it is said to be balut sa puti ("wrapped in white"). The chick inside is not old enough to show its beak, feathers or claws, and the bones are undeveloped. The Vietnamese often prefer their balut mature from 19 days up to 21 days, when the chick is old enough to be recognizable as a baby duck and has bones that will be firm but tender when cooked. In Cambodia, it is eaten while it is still warm in its shell. It is served with nothing more than a little garnish, which is usually a mixture of lime juice and ground pepper.

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