Balut is a Filipino snack that consists of a hard-boiled duck egg. It is also considered to be one of the first exotic food delicacies of the Philippines. Unlike the normal hard boiled egg the balut egg comes with something extra. Inside the egg next to the yolk is the tiny hard-boiled carcass of a duck fetus or a semi-developed embryo. This developing duck embryo is boiled alive or eaten in the shell.
To prepare this delicacy the egg has to first be fertilized and incubated. The incubation period ranges between 16-20 days and the egg is basically an embryo that is about to hatch therefore it may have feathers and a beak.
It's important to make sure that the incubation conditions are perfect so as not to kill the fetus. If the fetus dies before the incubation period is over it becomes worthless and cannot be used.
Once the egg has been incubated for the proper amount of time the cooking process begins. The egg is hard-boiled in the same way you would when boiling any other egg. However the end product is quite different.
The liquids inside the balut egg do not solidify but instead they turn into a sort of broth that simmers the duck fetus and the yolk. It's just like making soup within the egg.
When the egg is done cooking it needs to be eaten right away while it's still warm. The contents are eaten straight from the shell, you start by sipping the broth first then finish by eating the fetus and the yolk. Balut is normally eaten with a pinch of salt and one can also eat it with vinegar or chilli.
It is actually safe to eat Balut and it is one of the most instant source of protein and is quite easy to digest.
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