Confessions of a First-Time Balut Eater

“You’ve never eaten balut?” – people were asking in unison as if I’ve committed a crime and were waiting for me to explain myself. But I didn’t know how to respond in defense. Rather than coming up with a lame excuse, I surrendered in admission.

I confess, I’m a Filipino but I’ve never eaten balut.

I get these dazed looks from people whenever I disclose this information. A silent pause is what comes next which serves as a signal for me to clarify the statement on why I’ve never tried this famous Philippine delicacy. I tell you this is a great ice-breaker during conversations.

balut eater
crack it open

BALUT is a popular (if not the most) Filipino street food which is a fertilized duck egg or chicken egg with an almost-developed embryo that is boiled and eaten in a shell. It has been considered as a trademark of Filipino culture because they say you can’t call yourself Filipino unless you’ve eaten one.

Now that it’s so popular, how come I haven’t eaten one? Probably because no one has really forced me so. I also haven’t forced myself too. When I finally had the chance to try it because this was the topic of our Facebook Group’s Blog Carnival, I was able to satisfy my curiosity.

philippine balut
veins

A friend accompanied me to Fuente Osmena circle in Cebu around 2am to search for a balut vendor that was free from customers as we wanted to document the event since it was going to be my first time to eat balut. We found one but I forgot to ask his name.

By the way, you won’t have a hard time looking for this as it’s mostly sold on the streets, most especially at night. It’s not an uncommon sight.

vendor balut
balut vendor

I was encouraged by friends that I should eat it at dark when you can’t really see the whole thing. But it was too late since I already chanced upon a website that showed every part of this street food – beak, head, eyes, wings and veins in between. Check it out here: Cebu-Food.com | Oh! Balut You Taste So Good To Me

balut basket balut vendor philippines
manong vendor who was game to pose for the camera

Just the thought of having to eat something that looks like a fetus is already enough for me to consider this an extreme partaking. But like any other fear, I made sure to challenge myself in order test my limits. Besides I should have done this time a long time ago. At the least, it’s a more memorable experience because I have a purpose of eating this dish. That would be to have something to contribute in this Blog Carnival.

balut vendor
inside the basket

I have this notion that this is one of those initiation rites wherein a person must force you to do something and you’ll be rewarded after. Blame it on how many times foreign TV shows have used the delicacy in order to inflict gross nuances to the contestant doing the challenge. But to Filipinos, they would even ask for salt or vinegar as a condiment.

balut
chick

The vendor helped me out and took his time to share tips. “Don’t overthink, just open and eat!” — so easy to say, the chick’s eyes weren’t staring at him! But before I got squeamish and all, I obeyed.

Because this was so memorable, I even had it captured on video. Pardon my ignoramus-like tendencies to shine through.

So I finally ate balut. I realized it wasn’t that as bad as I thought; though it took me some time to swallow it all. Probably because I ate it hurriedly. Still, it’s actually tasty and the condiments made a lot of difference to augment the taste. One should not keep too many thoughts as it’s only mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter! haha.

I better find another ice-breaker during conversations because now I can testify that I’m guilty of eating this quirky food. In any case, I can always come up with an alibi…

The Pinoy Travel Bloggers made me do it.

Thanks to Doi for accompanying me to this partaking.

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blogcarnival

 

 

This is my entry to Pinoy Travel Blogger’s Blog Carnival themed Pinoy Quirky Foods. which is hosted by James of Journeying James. Click on the Blog Carnival Logo on the left to see other topics that the Pinoy Travel Bloggers have written about.

 

 

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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
For updates, Like his page on Facebook or Follow him on Twitter.
For questions, advertising, and other concerns, shoot an email to ed@soloflighted.com.


{ 32 comments… add one }

  • doi January 14, 2011, 10:19 am

    congrats ed! you finally ate one and swallowed everything too! i actually like to eat balut but can't make myself eat the fetus part of it. the thought of crushing that baby duckling/chick in my mouth is something i wouldn't dare try. hehehe
    can't wait for you to try grasshoppers, crickets and maybe some cockroaches? :lol:

    Reply
  • thepinaysolobackpacker January 14, 2011, 11:01 am

    kapag bumabayahe ako, sa mga bus stop, yung mga lalakeng kasakay ko madals tumambay sa my balut. ang sarap nilang kumain, kainggit sila tiganan. so bumibili din ako, pero ang toto, kinakain ko lng yung yellow at yung sabaw, except yung chic. kawawa kse tignan at parang d ko pa din kaya kainin. hehe congrats Ed! :)

    Reply
  • lakwatsera de primera January 14, 2011, 11:06 am

    Congratulations Ed for your first balut encounter :) I love eating balut and sucking its juice which tastes so good with lots of vinegar and salt :)  But I only eat the yellow part.  I would still have to try the feathery part of balut though. Are you going to try it again ?

    Reply
  • Aleah January 14, 2011, 11:58 am

    @ Gael: pareho tayo. Sarap ng dilaw ano? Hehe

    Reply
  • carla January 14, 2011, 12:57 pm

    congrats! lami sa? :) i only eat the chick if its 16days old…there are already hairs sa 18…lol

    Reply
  • Will January 14, 2011, 1:01 pm

    Wow, congrats! I love balut, and I eat all of its parts. Pampalakas, parang horse. :D

    Reply
  • Robbie January 14, 2011, 1:27 pm

    Wow. Although it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of Filipinos nowadays still haven't eaten balut. Pero for someone your age?! Wahahaha. At least nagawa mo na. Me, I still haven't eaten the bird part. It still grosses me out. Wahaha. Pero panalo talaga yung sabaw at yung yellow part!

    Reply
  • Micamyx January 14, 2011, 2:31 pm

    Wow congrats Ed! At least the PTB activity inspired you to eat balut na hehe :P There was a time na dire-diretso akong kumakain ng balut pero yung sisiw bihira ko kainin. Iniinom ko lang yung juice tsaka kinakain yung yellow part :P I am more of a Penoy person though :P
    Funny vid LOL :P

    Reply
  • estan January 14, 2011, 3:22 pm

    lami ang 21 days old! :)

    Reply
  • chyng January 15, 2011, 1:10 am

    "they say you can't call yourself Filipino unless you've eaten one."
    now that makes me a Chinese?  ^_^

    Reply
  • Edcel January 15, 2011, 2:57 am

    @doi: thanks doi! probably just crickets. not the roaches!

    @thepinaysolobackpackerl: haha. i know. but i also had to eat the chick para legit. hehe.

    @lakwatsera de primera: thanks claire! not sure if I'm going to try it anytime soon. I still have yet to fancy the taste.

    @carla: haha. i ate the 18-days cause they didn't have the 21 available.

    @will: thanks! kakabusog din. :D

    @rob: haha. i know, i only ate Penoy before but never the balut. you should also eat the bird part para tapos na! hehe

    @mica: haha, yeah. ng dahil sa PTB. hehe. kainina mo rin yung sisiw. hehe. tawang-tawa din ako sa vid. haha

    @esta: haha. tried searching for one but they didn't have any.

    @chyng: haha. pwede na rin Brazilian. para magmatch naman sa bronze skin mo :D

    Reply
  • benj January 15, 2011, 4:49 am

    Bro, the keys to eating balot include:
    1) eat it in the dark
    2) don't look at it! :p
    Your photos made it look like a display in a biology class. Congratulations, tunay ka ng Piliipino! Mabuhay! haha

    Reply
  • dyanie January 15, 2011, 4:49 pm

    Congratuleshions! Clap clap clap! Nung bata ako, nakakaya ko kainin yung sisiw pero ngayon eh yung yellow part nalang at yung sabaw haha :D

    Reply
  • fetus January 15, 2011, 5:55 pm

    what did you just say? you have two eggs? and sir estan got lanchao. haahahahaaha.

    Reply
  • Smarla January 16, 2011, 4:11 am

    go ed! :D medyo mas formed ba yung chick na nakain mo? minsan may bones din! :P

    Reply
  • pusang-kalye January 17, 2011, 2:23 am

    this is ewww for me—but it's just me. I find it gross talaga. pero para sa isang solofligted na nakatalon na sa Macao Tower at sa KL lagoon, anu ba naman kung ito lang? sisiw na yan!!!hahaha

    Reply
  • Photoblogger January 17, 2011, 2:27 pm

    hahaha, for awhile i tot musuka ka, congrats! wa pa ko ka kaon ana :p

    Reply
  • Edcel January 17, 2011, 4:41 pm

    @benj: haha. thanks for the tips. Pinoy na Pinoy na talaga! haha. 

    @dyanie: haha. baliktad pala tayo.

    @fetus: haha, didn't know what else to say. weird. everybody's talking about eggs. haha

    @smarla: yeah. wanted to get the 21-days but the vendor didn't have any.

    @pusang-kalye: haha. sisiw talaga- sisiw=chick. kumain ako ng sisiw! hehe

    @photoblogger: i thought so too. kaon na!

    Reply
  • Steve January 17, 2011, 4:50 pm

    Congrats on eating Balut.  I can imagine why it was recommended to eat it in the dark.  It would be an interesting experience to try it, but I would probably have to eat quickly to get it down.  I bet it tastes pretty good though.

    Reply
  • journeyingjames January 18, 2011, 5:30 am

    same as the others i only eat the yellow part. before. but then, minsan ayaw na nila kainin, un natuto din akong kumain. sarap naman. basta balut sa puti. at di pa masyado developed yung chick

    Reply
  • Mel January 18, 2011, 9:34 pm

    Hahaha, you looked so hilarious while eating balut. :D I can eat like 3-4 of them in one sitting and yes, I eat everything in the balut except the shell. Haha! :D Kudos to you!

    Reply
  • Edcel January 26, 2011, 8:28 am

    @steve: It tastes good. A lot of people would even ask for salt. It wasn't bad after all. You should come to Asia and try it!

    @james: haha. wanted to try the 21-days to make it extreme but the vendor didn't have any. sayang…

    @mel: wow, 3-4! eating just one already made me full! thanks for dropping by!

    Reply
  • love2type June 13, 2011, 2:35 am

    i've tired it once but didn't finished it as soon as I saw the litte fetus.. 

    Reply
    • soloflightEd June 14, 2011, 12:44 am

      @love2type: i know what you mean! :D

      Reply
  • Mach December 19, 2011, 5:32 am

    I still haven't eaten one! Boo! Maybe next year. Hey, this post kinda inspired me to do it. I'm not really ballsy when it comes to food but what the heck, if you can do it, why can't I? Lol

    Reply
  • lynnich January 26, 2012, 12:24 pm

    waaahhhh…. good job ed! :)) i haven't try that one.. yeah, i think it's really mind over matter! hahahah…

    Reply
  • michelle February 24, 2012, 10:47 am

    wow grabe., the best talaga ang balut ever.,
    lalo na pag may redhorse ito and tama talaga., hahaha
    nice job ed.,

    Reply
  • Cj April 4, 2012, 9:26 am

    I didnt try it yet.. :( ..Bohooo me..but sabi nila masarap daw yung penoy coz walang sisiw..hehehehehehehe..

    Reply
  • chizacheesemiz July 9, 2012, 6:08 pm

    ha!ha!ha!ha! so funny of you eating balut and before the video end your holding a plastic that contains two balut i guess? and the next thing you've just said is…"i have two eggs!!!" lol your so funny! good job!!! atleast you've already taste balut lucky you…me??? I've tried it out of curiosity BUT my big brother just freak me out showing the chick inside of it (di naman sa maarte hehehehe natakot lang naman ako malay ko ba na may ganun doon lol) anyways all your blogs are really good :) keep up the good work.

    Reply
  • soloflightEd July 12, 2012, 9:20 am

    @chizacheesemiz: i don't know why i said what i said. I'm pretty shy in front of the camera. hehe. you should finish the whole of it one of these days. :) thanks for reading my blog! :)

    Reply
  • chizacheesemiz July 12, 2012, 11:42 am

    ha!ha!ha! it was the best part!!! funny :D I've noticed your a camera shy but your video was great good job! and thanks also to manong for teaching you i mean guiding you while eating balut well after reading this blog i asked my brother the following day to buy me some balut and he did but still cant eat it :(( ending up my brother ate it all and said "ano trip mo nagpabili ka tapos di mo kakainin? lol bakit takot ka no baka mabuhay yung sisiw at tukain ka" he ended up teasing me all night rawr!

    Reply

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