Part of traveling the world and experiencing new places is trying the food each culture has to offer. I have never been an entirely picky eater and I am quite adventurous when it comes to trying new things. But coming to the Philippines has put that to the true test.
BALUT: is a developing duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines.
Yup. Go ahead, go back and re-read that one. It's a tough one to wrap your mind around...also your mouth, if you attempt to chew this thing.
But it is common here in the Philippines, although I have found plenty of Filipinos who aren't a huge fan.
So the challenge was set. The first American to try it was Bonita Wise, one of the seven Americans playing in the league here. Granted, she was born in the Philippines so I am going to go out on a limb here and say that she was the bravest to be first because she has that Filipino blood.
|Balut, in all it's glory...|
After she took down her duck, she issued the challenge to the rest of us foreigners. And so it began...
For days after seeing this picture and knowing what balut was, I would get sick to my stomach just thinking about it. Then one day we were all together and that moment of sickness didn't come...it was my day. I had to act fast.
So we had some balut brought in special, and off I went.
|Can you just sense the unsureness.. yea, bleh..|
I have to admit, it wasn't as bad as it looked or sounded. But I do think it is safe to say I will not be frequenting this challenge.
There were still Americans left on the board to accept their challenge and they decided to pull together and take it out together. Lindsay, Emily and Kristy were next. They took it like champs and their faces tell how the story went; quite perfectly.
Conveniently it was Kristy's birthday so it became her Birthday Balut. What more could you ask for on your day of birth?
|Before, during, after. Captured.|
We can now check it off our Philippine Culture To Do List. I for one am hoping more enjoyable food challenges are on the horizon.
I'll be okay with ones that fall in the fruit stand realm..
|I accept any challenge in this box. Crack it open!|
I've seen a great deal of fruits here this past week that I've never heard of, and they are all SO delicious! Mangoes here are unbelievable and come in different types, lanzones, durian, jackfruit, watermelon, pineapple, guiyabano...the list goes on and on!
I just discovered mangosteens and they are officially my new favorite fruit. After further research, apparently it is the "queen of fruit" and the health benefits are a mile long.
Needless to say I will be cracking open more mangosteen shells than balut ones during my stay in the Philippines, and I think my mind and body will thank me for it in more ways than one.