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Pig face and the dreaded balut

By Terrence Collins


You might remember my last article in the trader: “Eating Monsters” which featured me consuming various snake concoctions plus copious amounts of creepy crawlies. Well as promised I ventured to the Philippines to face my fears, in the form of the dreaded Balut, a medium boiled duck embryo. Now truth be told for some strange reason I cannot stomach the thought of eating an egg white, unless it’s mixed with the yolk as scrambled egg, crazy I know considering some of the things I have eaten in my time, but the thought of egg white just makes me cringe. Therefore for me to eat a duck embryo, I needed some Dutch courage first. So after numerous San Miguels and a few shots of Jägermeister I was ready to bite the bullet or in this case the little ducky.

I just couldn’t face biting in half the undeveloped chick, so I drained the juice off, which smelt terrible and just poked the whole egg/embryo into my mouth and chewed as quickly as I could. Sadly the feel of the feathered wings and the crunch of the soft bones and head, not to mention the beak was just too much for me.

So before I simply couldn’t take it no more and projectile vomited the chewed up little fellow across the bar, I took a big gulp of San Mig to wash it down in one almighty effort.

Pleasurable certainly not, but the locals swear it’s good for the libido but don’t they always say that about anything gruesome to eat? Anyhow I faced my fears and completed the task but certainly wouldn’t recommend Balut even if you do need to kick start your libido. I would rather take a Cialis or Viagra gel if I got into trouble.

I soon went looking for other strange local delicacies unique to the Philippines and stumbled upon an old classic Sizzling Sisig which is best eaten with a few beers.Basically sisig is all the fatty parts of a pig’s face, nose, ears, cheeks etc and it’s important to shave the pig parts first, or more often than not singe the ear and nasal hair off with a blowtorch or over a naked flame, native style.Otherwise you can end up with a mouthful of stiff bristles that is quite off putting and hard to digest to say the least.

Funnily enough, high cholesterol aside, it’s quite delicious and served with a raw egg in the middle, which you mix up (so I can eat it) and add freshly squeezed calamansi ( small sour lime) juice too. It’s quite moreish and you can easily find yourself spooning up more and more, after each and every slug of beer. I highly recommend trying it whilst drinking with a group of friends. I’m not sure if it would be as enjoyable sober or as a main dish to eat alone.

I mean come on, just how much face can you eat?