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Trying a local dish in any new country is always both challenging and exciting. Every so often, however, you encounter something that raises the bar to levels which you thought you may never encounter. One such encounter was the Filipino delicacy called “balut." I did not have to travel all the way to the Philippines to experience this strange dish since my Filipina girlfriend from Manila decided to visit me in Kuwait for a few weeks. As she explained afterwards, not even all the locals are crazy about this, and typically the taste is acquired at an early age.
What exactly is balut? It is a fertilized duck egg that is about 21 days into development and served warm with a sprinkling of salt. After making a hole in the shell at the top of the egg, I proceeded to drink the liquid portion, which was pleasantly quite tasty. I completed ingesting the remainder of the meat, which was both crunchy and creamy, after carefully stripping off the rest of the shell. I must admit that my eyes were mostly closed during this culinary exercise. This dish is not for the faint of heart, but if you are brave enough, the taste is worth it -- if you can keep from gagging.
Eds. note: Read more about balut in our Manila destination guide.
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