Farewell Merienda and Balut

A brave man will face a situation no matter how dreadful.
~ Filipino Proverb

I learn new things everyday. Today, I learn of two new words – merienda and balut.

Merienda

Some of the folks in IT threw a little merienda for Alex and I. Our last day at work is tomorrow. I have never heard of the word merienda before. Well, I was enlightened that merienda is a spanish word that means snacks. I like the Spanish — they did give the world the idea of siesta, right? Isn’t it nice — having a siesta after a meal and then waking up to a merienda? Anyway here are the folks who threw a farewell merienda for Alex and I at The Hub (the company cafetaria).

_MG_2788_edited-1

Balut (Duck Egg)

Balut is a Filipino delicacy. Zimrie made them for brave souls in the farewell merienda. This is how Balut tastes like … gross!

_MG_2783_edited-1

Balut is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in a shell. He he he … it is considered aphrodisiac and considered a hearty snack. The filipino and filipinas in the group educated me on how to eat this:

_MG_2781_edited-1.0I started off by cracking a small opening at the base of the egg. The base of the egg is the rounder end of the egg (know what I mean?). I looked in … and man! It sure look nasty … yucks! I can see the feathers! He he he … Mark walked away because he can’t stand the discussion on this … “thing”.
_MG_2782_edited-1The first part to savor (!?) is the broth surrounding the embryo. Arturo showed me that the broth is to be sipped. I closed my eyes and sipped the broth … it tastes weird. Gosh, the things I do for a blog. Got some broth on my fingers, it sure smells.
_MG_2784_edited-1The next part is the yolk and the young chick inside (!?!). I tried not to look at it when I eat it. It doesn’t taste too bad … it’s just that the thought of it is revolting. It tastes like … hard boiled eggs left in the sun for three days.
_MG_2786_edited-1This is the part where I gave up. I gathered up some courage and looked at the insides … was looking at it curiously and tried to figure out which part of the chicken it was supposed to be. It looks ugly. Click on this picture and take a closer look. Let me know what you think!

Seriously, guys and gals, I had great fun today. Thanks for taking the time and bring along the goodies.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Emily

    I had a great time especially explaining this “special” and “exotic” duck egg from the philippines. Better than “Soup No. 5″…:) Don’t ask me what it is…ask my hubby when you meet him in your new work. Good luck to your new job!!!

  2. Ben

    Don’t you love Google. Here is what I found about Soup No 5.”Film director Danny Ochoa swears “Soup No. 5″ on Chinese restaurant menus–made from bull testicles–is the No. 1 aphrodisiac, and he urges elderly Filipinos to eat the soup instead of spending money on Viagra pills.”

  3. Arturo

    I’d like to also advise that eating BALUT is also good with a pinch of salt or hot and spicy vinegar plus your favourite beer. You will say afterward…”isa pa nga” (one more please)!!!!

  4. Emma C.

    I had a wonderful time too. I admire your courage in eating the balut. I myself only tried it once when I was a little bit braver. But it’s supposed to be a delicacy back home. Filipinos usually eat it with beer or with tuba (a local concoction made from coconut juice). Or it can just be eaten by itself straight up. Best wishes on your new job or wherever you may be and may you find new good friends along the way.

  5. agnes

    Did I hear Ben say “isa pa nga” (one more please). Once you tried it, you keep coming back for more. Ask Ben, he should know.

  6. Emma

    The pics are interesting. It’s like seeing a balut in a scientific way. Not so desirable. But I’m pretty sure I’ll continue eating it. πŸ™‚ Just the yellow part. That’s all I can eat. It’s also better to eat a balut while it’s warm. Do you know that we actually have balut vendors in the Philippines? They go around the neighborhood shouting “baluuuuutt!” They also sell ‘penoy’ and ‘chicharon’. More yummy stuff.

  7. Ben

    Dear Agnes:Nien! Nien! Nyet! Nyet! Nooooooo! No “isa pa nga” to Balut … maybe I’ll try the No 5 Soup next. :-)Ben

  8. Ben

    Boys/Girls:I showed your new PM the blown-up “scientific” pictures of Balut and he almost threw up! πŸ™‚ He can’t even bring himself to “backspace” the page and asked me to do that. Is it that bad? :-)Ben

  9. Mark H

    Yup, it’s that bad. I’m with Christopher on this one.

  10. agnes

    You could say that I don’t have a life, πŸ™ cos I’m here posting on Ben’s blog. I really need to comment on this, soup#5 is NOTHING ompared to balut. πŸ™‚

  11. WaltDe

    Keep up the great work on your blog. Best wishes WaltDe

  12. Cheryl

    Wow I haven’t had that in years! I used to eat those with my Viet family, I always thought it was a Viet thing. Thanks for the memories!

  13. DocChuck

    In my humble opinion, ingesting something of this nature is NOT a cultural thing (at least not in a civilized culture, one worthy of note).

    Ingesting “balut”, while people watch in awe (I strongly suspect that no one eats β€œbalut” without an audience), suggests that the person is in desperate need of attention, and perhaps suffered from the lack of such as a child.

    But that’s just my opinion as one who earned a Ph.D. in psychology (University of Texas).

    DocChuck

  14. MrsDocChuck

    I apologize for my husband’s irrelevant remarks. We are in the process of adjusting his medication.

  15. Ben

    Hi MrsDocChuck:
    No apology required. I know that balut is repulsive to many people. Although it tastes quite good(!), I don’t think I will ever eat it again. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
    Ben

  16. bangz

    what is the scientific name for balut? may i know it? for our subject matter. thanks and more power.

    1. Ben

      Hey Bangz: The scientific name for balut is Gallus Gallus Domesticus.

  17. Lisa

    Oh man, thanks a ton for this post. I felt like I was right there with you – cringing yet curious – with each picture. I am now pretty sure I will not be interested in trying out this delicacy for myself.

    cheers!

  18. Veronica

    You deserve respect when you at least TRY something like this. I have a hard time respecting adults that refuse to try anything new and slighty different. How will you know what tastes good before you try it?? And everyone thinks I’m so weird that actually TASTE and LIKE a lot of weird things.

    I read a lot about “weird” food, for inspiration, and to read about things that I might come across one day. Balut, is of course something I have heard about. I have jokingly said that I’ll maybe taste it, if I’m drunk… But looking at it now… maybe not. And thanks for describing the taste, that always makes things more fun to read. I love eggs, specially hard-boiled of fried ones, but stale eggs (left out in the sun for three days as you call them), makes me sick just to think about. So I guess I’ll pass one the balut..

  19. PinoyGourmet

    Hi Veronica
    I will be bringing Ben to a filipino Restaurant this weekend for Sisig,Dinuguan Igado…But to the other readers lets just wait for his review on these Filipino Delights???

    1. Jonnek

      Hi PinoyGourmet, which Filipino restaurant are u taking Ben and Suanne to? Sama ako!!

      1. Ben

        Wanna join us, Jonnek? I’ll buy. Pin Pin @ noon on Saturday. I have a bad feeling about “Sisig Dinuguan Igado”. What is it, PinoyGourmet? Guess I will find out soon enough!
        Ben

        1. Jonnek

          Ben, I would love to join you. Pinpin is my favorite Filipino restaurant in the Lower Mainland. Unfortunately, I am busy Sat noon to 6 pm. Saturdays are bad days for me. πŸ™

          Anyway, I’m sure you will enjoy the dishes that Pinoygourmet has suggested. To give you a little background on Filipino cuisine, you can watch the Philippine episode of No Reservations by renowned chef Anthony Bourdain. Here’s the link:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ztagbvodPk

          Anthony tried the sisig and he absolutely loved it.

  20. PinoyGourmet

    OK,Here s one Dinuguan Philippine Pork Blood stew,Innards,Brain etc of the Pig boiled in the Blood of the Pig until it turns into a thick black mess.You have been advised.But I promise nothing swerved that Barks or Miaows Everything else but those.

  21. Kayla Martinez

    YOU ARE A BRAVE SOUL. That has to be the most hideous thing I’ve ever seen people put in their mouth. Kudos.

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