” You haven’t tried a Balut? I can’t let you leave Vigan without having one ” said Mark, a guy who I met at the Legacy Bar in Calle Crisologo Street. We truged through the dimly lit alleys to the main road all dazed and drunk. We passed through a number of food stalls that rimmed the narrow streets of cobblestones. Most of the vendors were being steaming eggss in a basket made of wood splints and cane.
My curious eye caught a glimpse of it, but before I could speak a word, Mark said ” Lets get one from this stall”
As we sat on the wooden stand, the vendor walked upto us and after a brief exchange of greetings, she handed us a plastic plate with a pinch of salt in it, a bottle of vinegar sauce and Balut.
What Is A Balut?
Balut is a popular street food in many Asian countries. In philippines they call it Balut, however in Vietnam they call it as hột vịt lộn, Cambodians refer to it as pong tia koon and people in Laos know it as khai look.
A Balut, as the Filipinos call it, is a developing duck embryo that is boiled and eaten in the shell.
People believe that these eggs are a nutritious and restorative food for pregnant or delivering women, while some say that it can also increase male fertility.
My Experience In Eating Balut:
As I crack open the shell, I am confronted with the foetus of a baby duck.. No! I frowned, that’s absurd.
Being a vegetarian, it was bizarre experience holding a duck embryo.
Eventually, locals gathered and started to cheer me up. After sipping the broth that surrounded the embryo, without any thought I peeled the shell as quickly as I could, added some vinegar and salt to it just to gulp it down my throat.