Great food from the Philippines: Balut

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ July 3rd, 2009. Updated on May 31st, 2012. Published in: Travel blog » Food around the world » Filipino food.
Fetus from Balut egg

Duck inside 17 day old Balut (click to enlarge - warning graphic)

Balut from The Philippines

Balut is perhaps the most infamous food of the Philippines. Found mainly at night along the streets it’s one of those foods many Filipino locals will dare you to eat at least once!

What is Balut?

A somewhat cooked premature duck egg. There are various types of Balut available along any busy night-time street in the Philippines. Large Duck eggs are the norm, though Chicken eggs are also popular.

Small spotted duck eggs are common, along with bluish eggs. Nearly all are served warm to hot. And the street vendors will often have a little gas cooker with a pan of water keeping the eggs warm via steam.

A photograph showing what Balut looks like up close

The most common form of Balut is the one shown above. Embryonic Duck is not quite formed to stage of having feathers, and the bones are still soft. A lesser staged Balut is also found which is basically a jelly slush. The third most common form is when the duck’s bones begin to develop along with the beak.

Half opened Balut from the Philippines

Half opened Balut from the Philippines (click to enlarge)

Each Filipino will tell you their preference and without hesitation swallow one down with some spicy vinegar or some chili sauce. However it must be said there are a few Filipinos who wouldn’t touch one. It’s a matter of taste and guile …

Prices vary from 10 pesos to 20 pesos.

This is an additional post and one of a series highlighting Great food from the Philippines

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