Monday, June 11, 2012

A different type of Egg..

Today I stumbled across a stall at my local Mall that sold eggs of the Asian variety, as I have never tried any of these delicacies I thought it about time that I tried some! I bought three kinds to try, Balut, Penoy and a salted purple coloured egg..
Balut is a boiled fertilised duck egg with a underdeveloped embryo inside it, usually they are kept outside in the heat and humidity and fertilised for 14 to 17 days and then afterwards kept warm in hot sand until you eat them with a small packet of salt, chilli or vinegar.
 I have been told that they taste better warm and if eaten with a cold beer in hand.. I am not sure that I will want to try them again after today! On breaking open the egg a slightly viscous liquid came out and the rest of the egg was hard. The duck had no beak or head but there were plenty of feathers in there which put me off even trying it! Try it I did though as did the children and we all agreed we would not be having it on the menu anytime soon! It tasted like a very strong egg with a slight 'duck' taste! I have seen street vendors selling these delicacies as they are mostly eaten at night here, think that its the filipino equivalent of a kebab after a night on the town!!
The couple who sold me the eggs were most helpful in there history of the different types of eggs and the way that they are cooked, Balut I was told was brought to the Philippines by Chinese migrants and is not actually native to the Philippines but they have adopted the idea and now it is a very popular street food..

When I got home we broke the Balut open as I had two most intrigued children with me.. before we got it out of the shell..

And after ..

Safe to say I won't be eating that again any time soon but it was something that I really wanted to try, I am sure that if you grew up with Balut it would be appetising but not for me!!

I also bought Penoy from the same vendor, this is an egg that is unfertilised but has also been kept warm for 16-19 days.. when it is boiled for around five hours the white part of the egg solidifies and the yellow part becomes almost like scrambled eggs.. when we broke it open it was like mayonnaise on the inside and had a very strange texture, I could not eat it but my helper said that she loved them so she ate it as a snack :)


And last but not least I bought a salted egg..  My fingers were purple after opening and it did not look too bad inside, the white was still a pleasant white and the yolk was only a little off colour! Great I thought this looks tame in comparison with the scrambled egg and the Balut.. Wrong! This was Evil!! I had to go running to the bin with a mouth full, it made my eyes water!! My driver Assured me today that they are delicious eaten with tomatoes but its not one that I will ever try again!! They are cured in salt for 14 days and then dyed a deep purple colour to distinguish them between regular duck eggs. The taste is so strong that I could still taste it an hour later!

Well I feel that I have really broadened my mind over eggs today, I am still to try 1000 year old eggs but after today I think think that I will happily stick with my fresh chicken egg with soldiers and a kebab after a night on the town :D

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Landing in Manila

It was with much trepidation that found myself on a plane from Australia to The Philippines.
My family and I were settled in Brisbane and had no plans to move anywhere else in the world. But these things never seem to go the way you think they are and another Expat assignment was upon us before we knew it.
It has not been an easy ride here to say the least and the last six months have been a roller coaster of emotions as we all battle to find a new niche in this strange and smoggy land.. we are surviving though and not only are we surviving but we are finding ourselves and growing to like this place with every passing day..
Its not an easy place to live, the streets are dangerous places to be if you are a foreign Expat.. and especially a woman but the streets are also the most interesting thing for me, they are noisy and crowded, people walk, sit, eat and sleep on them every day. They are a colourful reminder that I am not living in a 1st world country anymore but one that is second world with an intense desire to be better. There is construction every where you look, one day in about ten years time this place will be an amazing metropolis of high rise shiny buildings to replace the dark and shabby ones that are slowly being replaced. The street vendors selling watermelons, coconuts, curries that I will never get to taste ( They are for the strong stomached Filipinos only) and halo halo- a filipino street food. These things I  hope get to stay as they seem part of life here, the jeepney's with there colourful murals on the side jam packed with people sometimes hanging of the back will also stay I hope as they are as much about Manila as the new and shiny buildings being built around us.
 As I travel around Manila in the safety and confines of our car I see people sitting outside there home's talking and chatting to other people, babies being bathed in buckets, bare footed children begging and dodging between the cars, men and women selling there wares on the road, anything from a feather duster to one cigarette for the needy taxi driver. Its a mad and wonderful place all at the same time!
We have only another year left in Manila so I have decided that I will try to document the time that I have here, hence the blog.. I plan on cooking some of the local food and have become more interested in Asian food there are always interesting things to be found in the supermarket!  I hope to escape the blue bubble that is the car and photograph some of these sights that I see every day and I also hope to travel to other parts of the Philippines to see the beautiful beaches and islands that people tell me are out there.. so with this introduction and a will to really try to make the most of Manila for the next year I shall sign off..