People are happy to eat poultry meat, because it contains a lot of protein that the body needs - and in general it is a healthy food that is well absorbed by them. Poultry meat is the basis of many mouth-watering dishes. Many of us will not deny ourselves the pleasure of tasting the meat of wild birds - geese, quails, partridges, woodcocks, pheasants, etc. Many people like hunting cuisine, but today this menu does not appear on our table very often. In some Arab countries, for example, stuffed pigeons are excellently cooked - it turns out quite tasty, but, as they say, this dish is not for everybody. However, the meat of chickens, turkeys and domestic ducks is the basis of many cuisines of the world.
With a bang "leave" our tables and chicken eggs - this is a well-balanced low-calorie product that provides the body with many amino acids and easily digestible fats. Someone believes that bird eggs do not represent anything original in culinary terms. And in vain! Some inhabitants of the planet, such as the Filipinos and Vietnamese, prepare rather peculiar dishes from eggs - they may seem extravagant to Europeans uninitiated in the culinary mysteries of Asian cuisine. If the Chinese are happy to eat rotten eggs, which they cook in a special way, then why shouldn't other peoples come up with some original recipe?
And they did! So, in the Philippines, a dish called balut is very popular - this is a local fast food, a fast street food that is sold in almost all local bazaars where they sell edibles.
Balut is almost a duck or chicken embryo. three weeks old, boiled in salt water. Traditionally, Filipino balut is still prepared not from a chicken egg, but from a duck one - however, the taste of this dish does not change much from such a substitution of the “ingredient”. The difference is found only by the most fastidious gourmets. It may seem strange to some, but balut is more often eaten by people of middle and older ages - for some reason, young people bypass it, and sometimes they can’t even stand it. However, over time, having matured, for some reason he begins to feel sympathy for an unpretentious dish, and then inherits his love for this dish. Here is such a paradox, although it may have its own explanation.
Students at the Manila Culinary Arts Center check the quality of balut eggs. Photo: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters
Balut is eaten like this. First, the shell is opened at the pointed end of the egg, which is quite logical - liquid may remain in the egg, they drink it first, and everything else is eaten a little later. It is a matter of taste whether or not to salt before sucking out the liquid part of the egg. Some people prefer to drink alcohol, for example, rum.
The first stage of eating balut is considered the easiest. All the most interesting for an inexperienced eater begins a little later: when the whole shell is removed, you have to deal with your feelings when you see the almost formed body of an unborn bird. Now, if the feeling of hunger has not disappeared and there is a desire to continue the experiment, the contents of the egg must be salted again or a few drops of vinegar should be added to it and ... put the embryo in the mouth, chewing thoughtfully. Some people really like it! By the way, Filipino men consider balut to be a powerful aphrodisiac - maybe that's why they start eating it only from a certain age? At least, this explanation seems quite logical - the Filipinos are very suspicious in this regard and believe in all sorts of miracles, predictions and beliefs.
Today, entire farms successfully operate in the Philippines, where duck eggs are brought to the desired condition before how to sell. In special dark recesses there are mountains of bags filled with eggs. From above, they are covered with other bags with all sorts of husks - this is an imitation of a mother duck. The main condition is darkness and warmth. The latter in this country is not difficult to perform and does not require large investments - in any room where there is no ventilation, the air can warm up to +40 degrees. True, in recent years, progress has come to Philippine balut farms - electric incubators are being installed everywhere, on which the most advanced farmers conjure over eggs, but not by themselves, but trusting this activity to a technique that does an excellent job with its duties. But many Filipinos believe that balut cooked in "natural" conditions tastes better. Maybe they know better.
New York Balut Eating Contest. Photo: Keith Bedford/Reuters
The readiness of eggs is checked in a simple way: first of all, the farmer makes sure that the development of the embryo is proceeding properly, he regularly shifts the eggs from one side to the other, waiting for them to "ripen".
Some eggs are rejected - no, they are not thrown away, but sent to the usual boiling, frying, etc. Those of the eggs that "survived" to the due date (slightly do not reach the natural hatching of the chicks) are sent to the markets for sale. In the Philippines, this is a hot commodity, especially at train stations when you need a quick bite to eat.
Filipinos do not want to admit this, but, in fairness, it should be noted that the Chinese trace is still noticeable in the history of balut. Probably, Chinese merchants introduced this dish to local residents a long time ago, but they saved the recipe and spread it all over the world. Now balut can be tasted in specialized restaurants in many countries of the world - especially Asian ones. Also, duck eggs with embryos can be bought in many Asian countries in the markets selling all kinds of food.
For example, duck embryos are also eaten in Vietnam - they are called hobitlong there.
Usually, balut is eaten as addition to the main food. The Filipinos also “marry the worm” with it. More complex dishes are also prepared from immature eggs. For example, floured and fried balut can be served with sauce. It is also baked in batter with spices, it is put into soups and used to make goose embryo pastes. gobble up their balut by both cheeks.