Balut is a popular street food across the Phillipines, Vietnam, and Cambodia. It’s definitely an acquired taste, and something that some people find disturbing. Balut is a fully-developed duck or chicken embryo still in its shell, which is boiled and eaten. You can find it anywhere there’s a large population of Southeast Asians who love it, but it’s usually cooked before you see it on store shelves in the U.S.
Not so in the Phillipines. Foodbeast writer Charisma Madarang shared a great story: while visiting her cousin in Toronto, he showed her some video of a flat of balut eggs that some family members had bought in the Phillipines and left sitting next to their refrigerator. Balut there aren’t cooked ahead of time, which is why random hatching like this is possible:
Once again, Madarang stresses that a sudden explosion of fluffy, peeping, yellow cuteness in your home isn’t usually the case:
[pullquote]”If you see balut at a market in the US — usually [they can’t hatch], since they’re cooked. For eggs to hatch, they must be incubated at a consistent temperature long enough for the egg to be fully developed. Most say that the chances of any vendor keeping this optimal temperature constant is close to zilch — since the eggs are taken out of incubation prior to being sold.”
It’s been a rough week for everyone. Here’s a little more cuteness:
How did the story end? It’s worth checking out Charisma Madarang’s full post to find out.