Here's the run down about balut that explains why it took me 3 years to eat one. It's a partially developed chicken or duck egg that's cooked in its shell. By partially developed I mean various states of embryo, feathers, bones, beak and guts depending on how many days old it is
. You peel off the end, add salt, and drink the broth inside. Tastes like chicken soup. Then you peel the rest trying not to look at it too closely. (I was told by a Pinoy that's its best eaten in the dark). Mine was definitely not close to being ready to hatch but there was evidence of something forming. Mottled brownish, greenish, yellowish with a hard white crescent shaped piece you remove before eating. No one I asked knew what the hard piece was but its always there. The guess is this balut was 10 or 11 days old. On the young side by balut standards. If you're going to eat balut this is probably the one to go for. The older the balut the more obvious you're eating an unborn chicken and the more likely you'll get beak and feathers stuck between your teeth. By 21 days old the pictures I've seen look truly disgusting - like something the cat chewed up and left on your doorstep. I did see a small red and soft blob clearly visible when I removed the shell. Not sure what it was. The embryo maybe? After a swallow of vodka I tried not to think about it any further. I made various faces and contortions as I chewed as fast as I could. I felt something brittle crack between my teeth. The beginnings of a back bone? I tried to focus on something else. After swallowing I chased it with more vodka and potato chips to force it down and kill the flavor and to keep it from coming back up. Been there, done that, don't have to do it again!
It finally happened after almost 3 years in the Philippines. I knew it would eventually. I ate balut. It happened during our management teambuilding weekend when Alex asked his driver to buy a bag of them with the intention that he would eat one. When the bag was offered to everyone a few avid balut eaters jumped right in. After Alex managed to force one down all eyes turned to me but I passed on the offer after seeing what it looked like. Then I realized there was no way I could let Alex show me up considering I've been here so much longer. I grabbed one from the bag. There were cheers. The others coached me through the experience and took lots of photo evidence.