Monday, May 7, 2012

Strange Eggs

We had a steamed egg dish with rice for dinner tonight. It consisted of four normal chicken eggs, one salted duck egg and one century egg. I love century eggs but have to agree that they look absolutely disgusting.

Just in case you didn't know, they originated from China and are actually eggs preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, salt and lime. In your hand, they feel a little like hard boiled eggs but when you eat them, the brown part has more of a jelly-like texture. Oh, and in case you're wondering what they smell like, especially, that dark blackish/greenish bit, its sort of like a mixture of ammonia and sulfer. I'm not trying to put you off them, I'm just being honest. Go here to have a look at more pictures.

So, as I was thinking about how I like this somewhat disgusting looking and smelling egg, I wondered about the other types of eggs around the world. Surely there must be some other cultures out there with exotic egg preparations?

I can think of two other types that I've had. The first is the iron egg and has its origins in Taiwan. There is absolutely nothing disgusting about this one. Its just an egg that has been hard boiled and air dried several times until they get a chewy texture. They also have a different flavor to them from the mix of spices that they are repeatedly cooked in. Some that I've had were really almost like iron. It was like biting into a squash ball.

The second type of egg that I thought of was the balut from the Philippines. I'm very proud to say that I managed to eat an entire one of these but I am never having another one. The short story here is that a group of us went over to Manila for a month to work. Our hosts were extremely hospitable and after work each day, they would show us around the city, take us out for dinner, take us shopping and of course, showed us the fantastic night life they had there. They were very generous. One day, eager to share more of their culture with us, they told us about the balut. I'm not sure I can think of it as an egg because its really the fertilized embryo of a duck.  Anyway, everyone bragged that they'd be willing to give it a go but in the end, only a few attempted and only I ate the whole thing. Our hosts had bought a big bag of these and it looked terrible that nobody would eat it.

Anyway, I've had one in my life and thats all I need. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

Back to my original quest of searching for strange eggs. Google couldn't really help me out and I only found one other strange type of egg. Again, its from China and its the Virgin Egg. I haven't tried these before and I really don't want to. They are eggs that are cooked in the pee of little boys! Their shells are cracked slightly so that the flavors can be absorbed.

How do you like your eggs? Know of any other types of exotic eggs?


Mike said...

Pickled eggs is a treat you find at bars. (vinegar, salt, spices, and other seasonings - from one day to months - may result in a rubbery texture)

You don't want to be around someone that has been eating pickled eggs and drinking beer. Or at least have a gas mask avalable.

Bilbo said...

I used to really love eggs until I got to the part about the Virgin Egg. I just know there has to be a fascinating story behind that, but I assure you I don't want to hear it.