The Dish: Filipino Home Baking & Grocery’s Balut ($1.29 each)
What It Is: A duck egg with a visible 16- to 21-day-old embryo inside—wings, beak, and all. A good balut has four parts: the white, the yolk, the amniotic fluid, and the embryo itself. At Filipino Home Baking & Grocery, the eggs are sold fresh and need to be simmered for 25 to 30 minutes before eating.
What It Tastes Like: Better than it looks—kind of like a hard-boiled egg, but wetter. The baby duck is nearly gelatinous, and after 30 minutes of cooking, your house will smell like sulfur and chicken soup.
History of the Dish: We’ll never know who first thought to eat balut, but it’s now a common street food in the Philip
pines and parts of Southeast Asia, seasoned with a little salt or soy sauce, and washed down with an ice-cold brew. Despite its creepy appearance, balut is more nutritious than any chicken egg and high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Some even consider it an aphrodisiac.
How to Eat It: Crack the shell, peel it back, slurp the liquid, then take a bite. Beer chaser optional.
Filipino Home Baking & Grocery
11222 Triangle Lane
This article was previously published in the Washington City Paper.
Mary was born and raised in New York City where her family owned restaurants. Instead of eating dirt on the playground, she ate duck blood, beef tripe and pork belly. She cut her teeth at The Mandarin Oriental and The Ritz-Carlton hotels, working with Barbra Streisand, Vanessa Williams, Michael Stipe, LeVar Burton, Jane Krakowski and others. Mary founded Girl Meets Food in 2009 as a cover for her debilitating addiction to fried chicken and was named Washington Post’s “Favorite Local Foodie.” After 13 years in hospitality, she started freelance writing for USA Today, The Washington Post, Eater, Washington City Paper, and more. Today, she provides digital marketing for hospitality clients as a content creator who’s contently creating content.