Saturday, August 28, 2010

Duck Fetus Egg

Back to more of Cambodia.

WARNING : This post is strictly not for those faint-hearted, animal lovers, animal right activist, vegetarians, pregnant women or anyone that cannot stand bizzarre food.  So if you are reading on, you are responsible for your own curiosity and course of choice. :)

Even long before i had any plans to visit Cambodia, i had already heard of people telling of Cambodians eating what is probably one of the most bizarre or terrfying food in this world - the duck fetus egg (Balut) or as the local Cambodians called them, the pregnant egg.

Yes, eating bugs is already quite bizarre as it is but eating duck fetus/ pregnant egg is taking bizarre to a whole new level. To be honest, when i first heard about people eating duck fetus egg, like most of you now probably, i was disgusted. I cannot imagine how in this world can anyone actually stuff something that has not even a chance to see their mother's face into their mouth. I know certain human are capable of eating anything at all in this world and sure, monkey's brains are probably the worst of the lot and far more barbaric but still I never thought that i can someday sit among these people and watch them eating those eggs.

However when i was in PP, I learnt that for them locals, eating duck fetus/pregnant eggs is as common as us eating chicken. Or fish. In fact, it is something that the Cambodians love so much that it is almost like a delicacy there. And the fact that all Cambodians are taught to enjoy this dish since young is probably one of the reason why they dont see the fear or disgust (or even some see it as inhuman) consuming a duck fetus with it's semi formed head, beak, feather, body, intestine, bone etc grinded against their teeth as they chewed. It suddenly hit me that i probably feel uncomfortable about eating the eggs because i am brought up in an environment that taught me only to eat meats that come from animals that are breed for poultry purposes. So the same probably goes for them; brought up learning that duck fetus is a wonderful delicacy, that there is nothing bizarre or terrfying about it.

Hence, even though i was not keen nor dare to try out this local famous dish, i did not protest when Napich brought us to this very famous stall that sells duck fetus/pregnant eggs. After all, it's part of the local experience.

Stalls selling duck fetus/ pregnant eggs are everywhere; by the roadside, at the markets etc. But if you want  the best duck fetus / pregnant egg in PP, this is the place to eat them as claimed by Napich. I dont know the name of the shop but i do know it's the 2nd shop from the left located right opposite Orussey Market.
Looks just like our normal salted egg, no?

The lady and her humble stall.

These duck fetus/ pregnant eggs are being hard-boiled and served with asam powder alike, lime and some raw vegetables.

I think that garlic and chilli are the must-go-together with the eggs. And for first timers who are afraid about not being able to take the taste/smell, i guessed plenty of garlic and chilli makes anything bearable.

DD was successfully persuaded to try on his first ever duck fetus/ pregnant egg.
First, crack open a small hole at the top of the egg.

The whole egg after de-shell. Yes, that furry black thing is the head of the duck. And those brownish fluid is the amniotic fluid/ liquor.

 The head, eyes, beak, neck is all formed already.

The rest of the egg.

By right, the best way to consume a duck fetus egg is by drinking the amniotic fluid first. Remember that small hole that you are supposed to crack open at the beginning? Apparently after drinking all the amniotic fluid, then only you start to de-shell the egg and eat it. Or you can just vacuum the whole egg into your mouth from that small hole without having to de-shell like most of the Cambodians.

Actually i realized that sitting among them all, watching them gulping down their eggs is not as unbearable as i thought it would be. For most of the times, they do just gulped down the entire egg without any de-shelling so all i saw was a lot of empty shells. I did not try any but it felt and look almost normal as each and everyone of them surrounding me, from kids as young as 4 years old to elderly as old as 70 years old were happily gulping down egg after egg.

To end the post, here is a vid of how you shoud eat your duck fetus/ pregnant egg. So happen we had to share the table with this Cambodian guy who was sitting opposite me and he was enjoying his eggs so much i thought i had to take a vid.

PS : I know the music and the vid is totally incompatible but then again the catchy music is suppose to make the whole eating a duck fetus egg process more appetizing watchable. :)

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6 fondue dips :

good description Alli.
Hopefully you try it when you visit me again. LOL!

Napich : haha try persuading harder!!

Don't think I can eat this one... I still have problems with a a few strands of hair on my chicken wing...