Wednesday, September 7, 2011

pssst, psst. balut for foreigners!

Psst, pssst, psssssst! 
Welcome to the Philippines, Joe! You like it hot? 16 or 21?

"Right now we’re smiling at you because we are curious as to what you, a foreigner, are doing in our country. Are you a corporate executive, a chef, a diplomat? A retired soldier fetching your fiancĂ©e whom you met online, or a Brazilian model? A Peace Corps volunteer or an NGO worker? A tourist drawn by our famous beaches, or just looking to get laid? Filipino curiosity is insatiable. We have to be in the know. We don’t even have to do anything with the knowledge, we just have to know. 
No doubt you have been told that we pride ourselves on our hospitality. Our hospitality is not a PR thing; it is genuine. We are glad that you’ve come all the way here—we like having guests. You are someone new to talk about. Entertaining others entertains us."--Jessica Zafra

I'm talking about a chick, Joe, snuggled inside a shell:

What were you thinking, Joe?

Balut is a fertilized duck embryo, boiled and eaten while its warm. As my expat friend aptly growled: abortion! He got the 21-day balut! I'd recommend, for starters, try the 16-day first. Then chug an iced-cold San Miguel beer after you chow down the poor thing.

Balut is believed to be an aphrodisiac and rich in protein.

This Filipino street food has been doing the rounds in international media circuit. Not too long ago, one contestant in Amazing Race cried buckets before she swallowed whole the embryo. Did I mention she puked after? Overacting na ha! It's just egg yolk for Pete's sake! Egg yolk with beak, a little feather here and there and of course those cute little feet and claw! How crunchy! hahahahaha

It's not funny anymore if you only saw how these adorable kids want to go home first week into Philippine Culture class. Look!

But why do these kids look excited!? It's beyond me! They were supposed to cry!

Oh, by the way, we eat balut with a dash of salt and a sprinkle of vinegar with chilli. Just leave the hardened egg white to the dogs.

We teachers here are not that awfully bad, you know. So, we reward them with something to chug after the hurdle. Definitely not an iced-cold beer!

We reward them with halo-halo-- a Filipino dessert with these ingredients: fresh mixed fruits, nata de coco, kaong, crushed ice, evaporated milk and a generous ice cream topping. Mix them well and slurp. Weird match though, balut and halo-halo.

Psssst, psssst. Don't get offended Joe if I called your attention by pssst, psssting you. It's just hey! loosely translated in a country with 175 different languages.

So there. I wish you a happy journey to my country's 1,707 islands 7,107 islands!


  1. Love the humor in your post!

    That's true, foreigners can't bear the thought of eating a duck embryo who hasn't had the proper experience of a "life" :)

  2. thanks Jonna. foreigners need not fret now! balut goes haute cuisine na daw. no idea what dish they make out of the poor thing! hahaha

  3. paborito ko ang balut. ang cute ng mga bata. world class na ang balut ngayon...

  4. i can't imagine myself chewing this baby duck. yung yolk lang palagi ko kinakain sa balut.

  5. you should try. crunchy goodness to the bones! haha

  6. Nice post, thanks, and a great website, which I just discovered tonight. It was great fun to see the smiling faces of the kids enjoying their inauguratory balut chased with halo-halo! As a foreigner (an American married now to my Pinay asawa for about 18 years, one child, 5 visits to the Philippines), I had my initiation of beaks and feathers a good number of years ago on my 3rd visit to the Philippines with my Papa and Tios in Mindanao. I ate 5 in a row that I believe were 18-days-old, washed down with an ample amount of cold San Miguel. It was rite of passage that I enjoyed, but since I've "passed the test", I now politely decline balut and opt for whatever else is offered... my all time favorite is sissig, especially if it has some spicy 'kick' to it!

  7. thanks for stopping by :) WOW! sisig! good food to go with a subzero iced cold san miguel beer. there's actually more, especially in the North of the Philippines where they have the most exotic of dishes like ricefield rats and locusts.. you must try also the dishes of Pampanga and Bicol, they have my country's best dishes.


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