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March 01, 2007


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okay i have lived in the philippines now for three years and their is two types of balut one of chicken and one of duck from my understanding from my wife who eats this the duck is the cheaper one and the chicken is the better one. the one i think he should of eaten was century eggs (sorry i dont know the tagalog) but you can get them at the open markets all the time

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The grub that you ate which you called "Uwak," well, I suspect you got the name wrong. "Uwak" in Tagalog means "crow," the black bird like a Raven. The right word is "Uwang" meaning "Beetle" of which the grub is a larva. http://www.pcsd.ph/news_updates/articles/NEWS%202006/Smuggling%20Philippine%20Rhinoceros%20Beetles.htm Incidentally, I don't personally know of anyone who has ever eaten that grub. What you did was really extreme!

Then there's the subtleties of eating "balut." One, you don't crack open a balut shell from any which way. The correct way to open it is to crack it from the large end of the egg and then to carefully make an opening so you can tear off the membrane and expose the "broth." That broth is sipped carefully as it's quite delicious. It is not and never has been "funky" as you said in the show. If it were funky, you'd been given a rotten egg, which is very unlikely. I myself have never ever had a bad balut. Next, there's the matter of exposing the embryo. You know, no one I know ever eats the balut in such as way as to bare the embryo in all its furry veined glory. Instead, people just sprinkle a bit of salt on what is sufficiently exposed and sort of work their way down. This accomplishes another practical and important consideration: balut is street food and you don't want the contents getting messy and touched by your bare hands. Here's more on the discussion of balut eating: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dpinpin/2102894773/


I believe the mangrove worm referred here is the "Tamilok" in Cebuano language. It is eaten raw and live right after one has pulled it of the mangrove trunk... ^-^


has mr zimmer ever had the large worms left in spoiled liquid chocolate drums?i wondered if it would taste of chololate when cooked

Oscar Apostol

I was born in Bicol province and grew up in Pasay City. With Balut I never tried it. Dinuguan or blood cooked meat or chicken is the only bizarre one I eat reglarly. Blood is universally eaten in all cultures. Crickets, larvae and mangrove worms are all foreign to me. Ugh, I could not bear Andrew tried them. Had to look away. Now scoops of ube and coconut ice cream on a bun is new to me. Interesting and creative. Filipinos love Ube (purple) yams ice cream, cakes and guinatan.


As mentioned above, balut is an acquired taste (I myself don't eat balut even as I was growing up...).

Frog legs are pretty normal I think. They serve them in dim sum. But worms and insects are just weird..didn't even know they sell them in restaurants/take-outs like the adobo cricket.

Ube/Yam and cheese ice cream isn't really that bad. It's actually pretty good if made properly. Now living in North America, Sorbeteres that I used to buy back home could not be compared to imported tropical ice cream by selecta and magnolia sold for $9.00-$11.00 here. And they taste like butter. Just have to know where to pick and know who makes good sorbeteres in the Phillipines I guess (minus the hamburger bun LOL- I swear I didn't know we have that back home until I saw Zimmerman's show LOL). Range of flavours include avocado, melon and jackfruit. I just made avocado ice cream today and it's very creamy =D.


Balut is typically an acquired taste, much like any other native food from any other country.

Juan De La Cruz

I find the show culturally informative and the host of the show, Chef Andrew Zimmern, very funny and very brave. I grew up in Paranaque City, Metro-Manila, Philippines so I ate "balut" (duck egg) but don't know the rest that Chef Zimmern ate in Manila. The last time I ate balut was when I was "inducted" as a Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy in 1987. That was a treat for me but unfortunately not for the other 7 Chief Selectees in my group of inductees. About the "uwak" (grub) that Chef Zimmern ate, Well Timon and Tumba, in the "Lion King" movie, liked it & "taste like chicken" he (Timon) said.

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