American diaries } FOOD FOR TALK
When you want to strike a conversation with a stranger from another country or continent, start with the weather. When you want to talk to someone from another culture, talk about food. That’s how I got along with Andre, the chauffeur who had a moustache that made him look like a version of Samuel Jackson from Pulp Fiction. And that’s how I learned about Balut, a Filipino street food delicacy.
Balut is a developing bird embryo (yeah, with the exact shape and even feather and all that) and you got to have it directly from the egg shell. Though Wiki says it is either steamed or boiled, Andre said he had it raw. “It was a $20 dare”, he said. “Eating it is one thing, but you got to drink down a few beers first to get past it’s horrible smell”. He was visiting the south of Philippines where his ex-wife came from and their friends made him do it.
It is supposed to be a natural Viagra, according to the local belief, and the duck embryo is considered ‘stronger’ than chicken. “Oh, but believe me, it doesn’t make any difference. I tried that very night.”, said Andre amidst a loud, hearty laughter.