You’ve probably heard of balut by now. Through whispered hush hush voices or on a cheesy rerun of Fear Factor. For those of you not in know of what wiki so bemusedly calls “haute cuisine,” balut is a common streetfood in the Philippines, serving up boiled developing duck or chicken embryo still in its shell.
Also, stop making that face. It looks like you’re taking a shit.
So while stores in North America cook balut before it even hits the shelves, it’s typical for vendors in Asia to keep them warm so the embryo grows just before feathers and beak form. This brings up a common question: Can balut hatch? Again, if you see balut at a market in the US — usually no, since they’re cooked. For eggs to hatch, they must be incubated at a consistent temperature long enough for the egg to be fully developed. Most say that the chances of any vendor keeping this optimal temperature constant is close to zilch — since the eggs are taken out of incubation prior to being sold.
Yet, on the sly chance that one duck egg — or several — slips through the cracks? This happens:
While visiting my cousin Matthew in Toronto last week, he showed me a video of 30 balut eggs his family bought from a local supermarket and left by the fridge. Soon, however, they hatched and were hopping about his living room.
And they just kept hatching…
… and hatching.
Just. Fucking. Adorable.
Then we made breakfast.
Just kidding! The last one is just regular ol’ eggs. Couldn’t help myself.