The Hungry Games (Part 1: Balut Rigging)
Being a Series On the World's Disturbing Food Preparations

Proud citizens of the Philippine republic, lend me your cubicle time. We are all well aware of balut, I expect. For all intents and purposes, balut qualifies as both our national food (never mind lechon), as well as our national initiation ritual for unsuspecting tourists.

Don’t blame the tourists for having second thoughts, though. When we told them that it’s more fun in the Philippines, we probably weren’t referring to the act of devouring the underdeveloped offspring of waterbirds.

Our culinary ambassador (doubling as our de-facto dare challenge) is what would result from Donald and Daisy Duck having a drunk one-night-stand. Although it was bound to happen anyway (since they never wore pants), the idea of eating an avian abortion is still unsettling. Balut is raspa in food form. In fact, if ducks were Catholic, they’d be arguing on the Internet about pointless legislation that has nothing to do with abortion – oh wait, they’d only do that if they were idiots. Let me rephrase: if ducks were Catholic, they’d find a way to incorporate a special invocation into their weekly masses to protest the harvest and consumption of balut. Why? Because ingesting the fowl equivalent of a tiyanak followed by a chaser of sticky afterbirth surely constitutes a special violation of natural law. Not only that – balut is also an aphrodisiac, if only according to the horny balut-eating demographic. And why not? Who doesn’t pop a boner at the thought of munching on veiny stillborn duckling? For sure, many a bikini brief has been made so much tighter by the prospect of slurping warm amniotic fluid. If Filipinos were Catholic, they’d have it in their best interests to – err – crack down on balut. It is promiscuity and abortion in a handy eggshell package. This is an outrage.

A very tasty outrage! [thanks, Wikimedia]

That said, there is nothing more awesome than balut. It is a perennial point of pride for our people that it should be on the flag. Go, Manny Pacquiao! It has been brought to my attention, however, that balut is not exclusive to the Philippines. Versions of balut exist in Vietnam, Cambodia, and China. Not only do we not have the market cornered on disturbing duck-egg delicacies, we also have to share this distinction with communists. Maybe not Cambodia, but communism is still a fearsome concept for one raised on ‘80s cartoons.

Nikolai Volkoff, Professor of International Studies. [thanks, WWE].

To make things worse, even though balut often makes the top ten for the world’s most disgusting food, it rarely ranks first. This is simply unacceptable for most Pinoys, I expect. We have to shape up, people. It cannot go on this way because if we’re not first, we’re LAST. As a matter of dignity, we should make sure that the Philippines has the number one entry on the list of the planet’s grossest food. How are we going to do this? Don’t look at me. I’m just a bloggist, and not even a food one, at that. I don’t even get more than fifty visitors a day, you know. I’m just here to present information that other people could have also easily found through Google.

My excellent research skills on display.

Just to know what our balut is up against, though, I shall present a non-comprehensive list culled from the Internet. The list excludes edible items that are not considered food (e.g. snake/scorpion oil or baby mice wine). That is, none of the entries gathered should be one-off novelties that are served mainly to adventurous/gullible tourists. These items are in fact enjoyed by local populations and consumed as regular or special fare.

To be continued…

Please proceed to the list here.

Categories: [culture], [food]

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