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All Food Is Gross

November 18, 2019

This post is not for the squeamish. Seriously, if you have a weak stomach you might want to move on to a post about kittens, or puppies, or maybe terminal diseases.

Understand that I don’t think it’s that bad. But, this isn’t really about me. (Okay, maybe it kind of is.)

I took a trip to the Phillipines a couple weeks ago. It was a work trip and it went very well. Manila is a beautiful city. There are nearly as many people in the city of Manila (1.8M) as there are in the entire state of Utah.

While in the Phillipines, I tried some of the local cuisine. In fact, the team I was with offered to share traditional Phillipino dishes with me. They refused to let me buy anything.

I don’t remember the names of the dishes. They were exotic, and different, and delicious. I do remember the name of one dish. It was one I was both looking forward to and dreading. I’d been warned over and over about it.

Rodney, you’re headed to Manila next week?


My team is going to make you eat balut.

Balut is a duck egg. . .sort of. It’s a duck egg that has been fertilized and allowed to incubate for 14-21 days and then boiled.

Balut looks like any other hard boiled egg. It’s a duck egg so it’s bigger than a standard chicken egg.

But, that’s where the similarity to a typical hard boiled egg ends.

You eat Balut by knocking a hole in the top of the egg. My friend’s didn’t tell me this. I instead broke the egg in the middle like I would a hard boiled egg.

The reason you knock a hole in the top is so that you can drink the juice before you peel the entire shell away.

So, what does it taste like?

Ah. . .sort of tastes like. . .duck.

Now comes the part most people have an issue with. You finish peeling the shell off and then dip the. . .thing(?) in either salt or viniger.

You then eat it. Well, first you pull one little “hard” part out. And then you eat it.

It was unique. It was tasty. (Tasted like duck, not surprisingly.) It reminded me alot of head cheese. Had a similar texture. I have no trouble eating head cheese.

I didn’t have trouble eating Balut. Should I have? Some people consider it unnecessarily cruel to the duck. And yet, all meat comes from an animal that died. We boil lobsters and (one of my favorite) crawfish. Is Balut that much different? Is it really that much different than a hard boiled chicken egg?

I made my peace with being a carnivore a long time ago. I’ve eaten clams, oysters, crawfish, aligator, frog legs, snails, and most cuts of beef, lamb and pork.

And now I’ve eaten Balut. (It was delicious. Tastes like duck.)

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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