Street Food Manila Edition: Eating Balut

I’m going to warn you, this video may not be for the faint-hearted. Especially those of you who love animals.

Have you ever seen that episode of Fear Factor where the contestants have to eat an almost developed duck egg? Well, in the Philippines, it’s called Balut, and it’s common street food, even sold in 7-Eleven for a mere 15 Philippine pesos ($0.34)!

The thought of eating an almost formed chick will put many people off, but it excited me because this was something I knew I HAD to try. One of my principles of being a foodie is having an open mind and the courage to try things. I was so determined to try balut that I went almost immediately after I checked in to my hostel.

We had some difficulty finding it at first, but after visiting multiple street vendors, we finally found a man pushing his bicycle cart filled with roasted peanuts and boiled baby ducklings.

So, what did I think? You can probably tell from my expression in the video… Honestly, I had some hesitation when I was peeling the shell open, but it’s one of those experiences where you just have to close your eyes… and slurp it. It wouldn’t even come out at first, so I had to loosen the embryo with my finger, heh.

I don’t know if I would willingly eat another one because I can’t get over the crunchiness of the beak? Maybe it’s cartilage or bone? Don’t think I really want to know, haha… But hey, now I can say I’ve tried it, survived, and even enjoyed the yolky part. Food is part of the cultural experience, and I definitely think I checked the “Explore Filipino Culture” box after that mouthful.