Rediscovering Balut and Barbecue

9:30 PM

It is always awesome to meet new people and see the world through their eyes.

Tonight, me, my brother, and our new friend, Niklas, had the pleasure of discovering (and rediscovering)  two street delicacies that I haven't had in a while: Balut, Barbecued Isaw and Dugo.

You might have seen it in Fear Factor or Survivor, where it earned looks of disgust and some.

From here it looks so innocent.

Your typical balut is a duck's egg that has incubated for 18 to 21 days. The shorter the incubation, the less developed the chick is. Think beaks and soft bones (yes, you may start cringing now). If you're the squeamish type, you may want to opt for a 17-day old balut, also known as "balut sa puti" as it literally has a white film around the embryo. The egg will be softer and the image, not so graphic. Anything less than a 17-day incubation period and you'd get "penoy", which is similar to the texture of a hard-boiled egg and with some of the balut flavor.

Me, Jan and our new friend Niklas

Are you sure you want to trust us and eat that?!

To be honest, I am not a big fan of balut. It has been a few years since I last tasted a semi-fertilized egg because of the same fears your head: the dead chick coming into life in your mouth, clawing it's way to survival--okay maybe not that bad. But tonight, if a new found friend was willing to try it, I don't see why I couldn't be up for the challenge.

Once you partially crack the egg, you'll be greeted by a savory soup that tastes like chicken stock (surprise!). I wouldn't recommend dissecting the egg for first-timers, but if you're not yet grossed out and want to examine it in detail, you can find what's left of the yolk, the developing chick and a hardened, cartilage like version of the egg white that most people would throw.

If you haven't tried balut yet, I'll give you some honest advice, while it has been heavily hyped, it's not too far from the taste of duck or chicken. Just softer and a little bit grosser. You don't have to eat it everyday or at all, but if you do and manage not to throw up, you've got some bragging rights to bring home.

And we survived! 
My brother was a mean-balut-eating-machine so he was never in danger of anything
Next stop Barbecued I saw and grilled pig's blood. While it's not as adventurous as the earlier dish, it is a staple Pinoy street food you shouldn't miss.
Grilled Coagulated Pig Blood
Tenga ng Baboy or Pig Ears
I just realized that for a first-timer, the texture can be a little weird but after a few small bites, and a few dips in a spicy garlic-vinegar sauce, you'll find that the taste isn't that half bad.

Tonight's barbecue tour was made possible by Baga Manila in Makati Avenue
These delicacies are readily available in almost any corner of Manila by nighttime. They can be a bit high in cholesterol so I wouldn't recommend it for daily consumption. But once in a while, they are really good treats. I can only hope that Niklas didn't upset his stomach over dinner.

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