My First Time Eating Balut!

August 18, 2009 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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This is my last update from my trip to the Philippines, and one of the last things I did before heading back to Canada. I would have been very disappointed if I had gone home without doing this, and so I’m very glad I did.

So what did I do? I ate balut. So what is balut? Here’s the definition from Wikipedia:

“A balut is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. It is commonly sold as street food in the Philippines.”

It is typically around 17-18 days old so it’s really partially developed with feathers, bits of bones, and even the eyes, beak, etc.

The visuals are so revolting that this is what they made the contestants eat in Survivor and Fear Factor as challenges! I did it willingly, LOL!

I highly recommend watching the video below of me trying balut for the first time. If you don’t want (or don’t have time) to watch the whole thing, you can skip ahead to 6:40 where I start eating it, but I recommend watching the whole thing so you can partake in the experience :)

I’m really happy that I tried it. It’s one of those things that I can say I have always done or tried. It kind of sucked that I had no vinegar or pepper to dip it in, and the fact that since I took it home from the street vendor (as opposed to eating it right there at the stand), that it was not warm when I ate it!

To be honest, and as I mention in the video, I really thought it would taste better. The descriptions I’ve heard of it before was that it tasted just like a normal hard-boiled chicken egg and chicken meat. What I ate did not taste anything like that at all!

I’m sure it also depends on the exact type of balut you’re eating. Maybe what I ate was 16 days old or 20 days old as opposed to the typical 17-18 days old they usually are.

Here are some photos of balut (I didn’t take these, I grabbed them from the web):

3

5  4
So there you have it, my first time trying balut!

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Posted: August 18th, 2009 under Videos  

74 Responses to “My First Time Eating Balut!”

  1. Mohamed says:

    Ummm… yah, you’re pretty adventerous. We moved from AB to BC, where most people (seem to) have grown up on sushi or sushami and I often get odd looks when we have it served as a company get-together and I won’t eat it.

    Years ago I went to Japan, and the company we were contracted with took us out for a traditional Japanese meal at the end of our stay that. That wasn’t a good idea. I’m sure I insulted them because I wouldn’t have anything to do with the food and actually asked for (aaaack) vegetarian.

    I’m not that adverterous when it comes to food. I’ve grown up in steak and potatoe land, and quite happy to remain so.

    Mo

    • Mohamed says:

      Heh…just watched the video. I like the methodical way you’ve decided to eat balut — keep the beer handy!!! I’m quite happy to have shared the experience watching it instead of actually doing it.

      Sorry totally grossing me out…

      Mo

  2. Annonymous Coward says:

    Man,

    This is the reason Greenpeace exists.

    This , IMO, is worse that slaughtering the duck after it has hatched.

    The damn thing is living in that egg while it is being boiled. At least having its neck rung after it has hatched is quick and painless.

    Maybe I’m over-reacting – but that just seems really, really wrong.

  3. joe says:

    Looks gross but you know what, its all about the perspective. Scrambled or hard boiled eggs eatin in N American can be pretty gross if you really think about it.

  4. EarningStep says:

    weks… i wonder can eat this such things , LOL. you are pretty scarry

  5. Greg Ellison says:

    You are pretty brave their Tyler. Greg Elison

  6. used tires says:

    Wow Tyler, is all I gotta say! That is very brave of you to try it! Looks like you would do just fine on the show Fear Factor =D

    Till then,

    Jean

  7. McMillan says:

    I enjoyed the video. I really do not think I would have eaten that, but you did. LOL. The pictures kind of disturbed me..

    McMillan,
    Thanks

  8. You are brave to eat that, for me, i don;t.

  9. Michael Kwan says:

    The pictures and the description make it sound pretty disturbing, but you have to realize what you’re actually eating: an egg and a duck. You’re willing to eat these things on their own, so balut is just some strange middle-ground for the two.

  10. oh man, that doesn’t look tasty! bah

  11. Ohh sick..! It’s looking horrible..How did you ate that? You swallowed it or was chewing in a fun way. :0

  12. Dean Saliba says:

    That is the most revolting thing I have ever heard or seen. And I’ve seen Millwall play football!

  13. That is disgusting. I’m no vegetarian, but DAMN, beak, eyeballs, feathers, etc.. Sick.

  14. iRonnie says:

    bravo! i’ve been living in the philippines all my life but I havent tried eating the chick yet. just the yellow stuff and the stock.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Yeah the “chick” part is definitely worse than the “yolk”… it’s gritty and gooey and just not tasty. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more though if it was warmer/hot when I ate it!

      • Lee Ka Hoong says:

        I see again the picture and feel like want to vomit after my lunch just now, it’s disgusting. I won’t be trying this if I see this so called “balut” next time. =.=”

        You’re so brave to try this Tyler.

        Regards,
        Lee

  15. Jami says:

    I’ve been waiting for this post. And yet at the same time wishing you had forgotten about.

    Sick.

  16. Zak Show says:

    It can contain more harm than good for your health, I don’t think that’s a good idea to eat balut all the time! Just my 2 cents.. And If I was in your case, I’ll drink the beer and I will not eat the balut!

  17. Keith says:

    What did you do with the others in the bag? Did you eat them?

    I don’t think I could ever try that and I’m very open to other cultures food. I’ve tried a lot of “different” things, but eating a boiled baby bird just doesn’t sound appetizing at all. lol.

    Cool video though.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I ate 1 more and then threw the rest away. I was leaving for my flight about 6 hours after eating it so I didn’t want to be puking all over the plane after eating 4-5 balut ;)

      Plus, those things are filling man! It’s a lot bigger than a chicken egg.

  18. that looks discusting tyler, don’t eat that stuff it can’t be good for you. Stuff prolly looks better on the way out! LMAO! Probably hurts too :).

  19. I like experimenting other cultures foods but I don’t ever think I would be able to eat that. I have a weak stomach when it comes to eating stuff like that.

  20. My wife tried to get me to eat one of these when we were living in the Philippines, I just simply would not go there.

    Marcus, I am with you, I would be sick if I ate this.

    – Robert

  21. I agree that trying new food is fun. Oysters is a favorite of mine that most people really hate. I love the taste of the ocea that you get when the oyster slips down in your throat:)

  22. paul says:

    That pictures looks sooo gross. Thanks for sharing tho ;)

  23. LogoNerds says:

    Tyler, you are one brave, brave man.

  24. Tyler “the baby killer” Cruz, you’re a sick man my friend. *WHY* would you eat that?

    Nasty.

    -Paul

  25. Lee Ka Hoong says:

    Tyler! You were so brave to try it, I dare not to eat that by looking at the photo. I’ll never try this so called “Balut” in the future too. :|

    Regards,
    Lee

  26. The Net Fool says:

    That’s freakin awesome Tyler, haha
    I would never eat that… but props to you :)

  27. Pheak Tol says:

    i saw this once in fear factor once as well, i’ve seen family and friends eat the chik and what not, but i can only muscle myself to eat the white and yellow parts of it, but i cant see it be taken out either, so i always had my mother take it out of the egg for me on a seperate dish and i keep away from them when they’re eating it…glad to see you got an open mind to try out other types of dishes out there.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      If you can eat the non-chick parts of the egg, then the actual chick part isn’t much scarier. It doesn’t taste too great (to me at least) and there are some weird textures for sure (bits of feathers and under-developed bones) but it’s really not much different from eating the other parts.

      I kind of want to eat another one now, just to experience it all again. Haha.

  28. I can’t believe you ate balut! When I was in the Philippines I was with some Filipinas and they loved that shit. They couldn’t get enough of it. I thought I would eat it before I left and they kept trying to get me to eat it, but I just couldn’t get past the way it looked and smelled. Oh well, I’ll go there again for sure, so I’ll have another chance to try it.

  29. I just watched the video after I left my last comment and you ate it wrong. You pointed out how you should have ate it warm on the street or beach, wherever you got it and you should have, but you also took all the shell off first and then took big bites. You’re supposed to just peel pieces of the shell off and nibble on the balut with a little bit of salt. They would just eat little pieces at a time. It’s finger food. But still, props to you for trying it. It was pretty savage the way you just took big bites of it.

  30. Bidet says:

    Wow that looks disgusting, and it was partially developed too. Was it any good? What did it taste like?

  31. They have that here in US too and it’s a “Vietnamese” thing too. My wife took me to buy some about 2 years ago and it was GREAT!

    Our way of eating it was cracking it open a bit at the top and putting “MINT” leaves into it. Then you just drink the liquid inside. I however ate some of it too :)

    I believe the cholesterol/calories in these are comparable to quail eggs, which are about 4,500 calories per egg.

    -Mike

  32. DC Figures says:

    Tyler, that is sooooo disgusting and sooooo wrong on sooooo many levels.

  33. Balut. LOL. Been a long time since I’ve eaten that one. I used to eat that like once every month when I was a kid. That’s a pretty much popular street food. :)

    At first, it does lokk kinda gross. I don’t know, maybe it’s just really gross and at the same time, it’s just common for us.

    But we do get surprised at times when other people (foreigners especially) rank balut as the most strangest, bizzara food ever (like in Survivor). I don’t know. By protocol, kids who eat it just close their eyes and swallow fast. Think about other foods like stewed cow brain or something, those are more revolting than balut. ;)

  34. ShaunJudy says:

    OMG! That is the bravest thing I have ever seen. I would not be able to stomach looking at the baby duck while eating it. High five for you.

    No one would catch me trying that Balut!!!!

  35. Tunes says:

    Oh no, would be better I did not see this.//…..:-)

  36. Congrats Tyler for that.

    I’m Filipino, but I have not seen those pictures. But Balut is tasty when its hot, and there is vinegar with some spicy on it. I have eaten thos strange foods more than I can count my fingers in my hands. Those are street foods sold at night. They should be eaten / swallowed in the street at night where it is dark and you cannot see those bizzare foods. They said those food stuff are totally nutritious.

  37. tyler that’s creepy! hahaha

  38. Will says:

    Pretty sure this is what Picard ate in the episode “Chain of Command, Part II.”

  39. Wow. That’s hardcore, I had never even heard of this before, but honestly… .it’s disgusting. It reminded me of a fetus and eating babies and BLEH.

  40. Feiyie says:

    Haha. That should be an unforgettable experience for you, isn’t it? I only eat the yellow part and I like to sip the liquid part of it. Well actually, I used to eat the chick part when I was a kid. Only because I had no idea what it really was. lol.

  41. bigdavestar says:

    Oh man, that stuff looks gross! Can you only buy that in that country?

  42. oh damn i m shocked ….how can u eat it..oh really you are a advent.. guy…

  43. Briefcases says:

    Dude you are freaking nasty! You ate that stuff willingly? You know that they pay winners of Fear Factor like $10k to eat that crap. You’re fricking nuts. I definitely won’t be eating some partially developed embryos anytime soon.

  44. tiffany says:

    I like the methodical way you’ve decided to eat balut — keep the beer handy!!! I’m quite happy to have shared the experience watching it instead of actually doing it….

  45. Mathew Hillards says:

    Sick, you fucking killer….

    And yes, i’m a vegetarian

  46. Hey Tyler,

    Props to you for trying bulut.
    I had my first taste after many year, just last April. LOL. (Goes well with San Miguel or Red Horse!)

    Have you tried any other Filipino cuisine? I challenge you to some Durian fruit.

    Looking forward to your other posts!

    Cheers,
    Anthony

  47. That actually looks very unappetizing, hahaha.

    You’re amazing. I could never eat anything like that.

  48. Volksphone says:

    Nothing for me, I twould take the beer. But respect you did this.

    Cheers,
    Volksphone!

  49. sweet diana dawn says:

    Hi, i am from Philippines. It is a good thing that you have tried the best thing in Phil. and one of which is eating our famous street food “balut”.

    I am sure you will crave for it, and that would be good so that you will be more eager to visit our country.

  50. That’s so sad. I’m not a veggie but even I can’t imagine eating an embryo….. It just seems weird!

  51. evdeneve says:

    Fair comment, but you could say the same thing with many animals. Are you a vegetarian?

  52. hizlindir says:

    it seems very disgusting :D

  53. I had quite a few Balut eating experiences when living in the Philippines for a few months. I started dousing it with a huge amount of the vinegar chili sauce for best taste, and started to enjoy it. However, I still prefer the “1 day old fried chickens” than Balut.

  54. email lookup says:

    Although I’v never been to Philippines, but I think there has very great visiting options for visitors. Some day I might go there, but I don’t think I dare to eat any balut…

  55. OMG i could never eat anything like that, just the thought makes me feel sick

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