Why did the duck cross the road? Because the wind balut it across. Tonight we went to dinner with Boy Valenci the vice-president of Risen Savior Missions (RSM)-Philippines. He and his wife Virgie have been working with Jerry from the very beginning. They live in Manila and personally manage over 100 feeding sites and oversee another 400. In the early days, Jerry would ship balikbayan (buh-lik-buh-yun) boxes full of Manna Pack Rice. An extra large balikbayan box is 24” x 18” x 24”. Jerry could ship 200 meals in a box. Now he is shipping complete containers with 272,000 meals.
Last year when we traveled to the Philippines, Boy introduced me to the fine art of eating Balut (bah-loot). Balut is a duck egg with the embryo already formed inside. It is considered a delicacy in the Philippines. It takes courage to eat one of these. There are different stages of balut. If you get an egg that is in the early stages the beak will not be well formed. Balut it the later stages, 22 days, will be dark looking with feathers.
The first step is to carefully open one end of the egg so I can drink the liquid inside. This is rather unnerving. I chip away at the end of the egg and try not to think about it too much.
Last year I was not able to drink the fluid. This time I drink it and follow with a beer chaser. It tasted a little like boiled feathers, but wasn’t too bad.
I then start opening the egg a little more to see how furry the duckling is. I luck out because this one doesn’t have the feathers on it yet. The yoke is still large and has not been used much by the duckling. I open the egg completely to reveal the prize inside.
Hmmm – this will take a little more time to convince myself to eat. “Excuse me waiter, could you please bring some salt and pepper? Salamat Poe! (Thank you). I salt and pepper the thing and then think that maybe I didn’t want to enhance the taste. I pick the duckling up with my fork. Bon appetite! I quickly swallow and follow with another beer chaser. Now I am a respected American visiting the Philippines.