UPDATE: If you are reading my blog because of the story on CNN, welcome! I invite you to read this post, too, as it will give a little more explanation about my trying the century eggs.
I'm starting to think that I should maybe have called this series Project Asian Grocery Store, because this is my third item that I picked up at the Far East Supermarket (with two more coming next week). I can't help it! There was such an exotic variety of strange and new foods there! I went in looking for two specific things (both of which I'll be eating next week), and walked out with an armload of others. I'm a textbook example of an impulse buyer.
Actually, today's item was exactly that - an impulse buy. I was scanning the shelves after picking some other things, and when I saw century eggs, I knew that I had to try them for Project Gastronome. At the time, my line of thinking went something like, "No way! That will make such a great blog entry!" What didn't enter my head at the time is that I would actually have to eat them. My first clue to what this experience was going to be like should have been the cashier's reaction, an incredulous "Do you like these?"
Perhaps I should back up for a second and tell you some more about tonight's food. From Wikipedia:
Century egg, also known as preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, thousand-year-old egg, and millennium egg (or Pidan in Mandarin), is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing. Through the process, the yolk becomes a dark green to grey colour, with a creamy consistency and an odor of sulphur and ammonia, while the white becomes a dark brown, transparent jelly with little flavor.Here's a picture...
I have read that the best way to approach eating century eggs is to think of it as a big piece of cheese. You wouldn't just pick up a block of cheddar and take a huge bite out of it, you'd slice it or shred it and eat it with something. Still, I wanted to experience this thing. I decided to go at it both ways, by taking a bite out of one, and by slicing one and having it with crackers.
Peeling it only added to the dread. There is a strong ammonia smell, much like animal urine. Strangely, it still felt exactly like an ordinary hard boiled egg. I took a bite, and...
As it turns out, my initial dread was well founded. Put simply, this was THE STUPIDEST MOTHERFUCKING THING I HAVE EVER PUT IN MY MOUTH, and that includes a night of ill-advised experimentation in college. Again to my surprise, the texture was exactly like that of a hard boiled egg, but the taste... You know what? Just watch the video.
It tasted like a hard boiled egg that had been boiled in pee. Amazingly, there was practically no aftertaste once I had it out of my mouth, which was the one positive thing about this experience.
That's it for the foods this week, folks. I'm going to cleanse my palate over the weekend and start again on Monday, except the theme will no longer be Animal, it will be Vegetable. Just because I'm not eating anything this weekend, though, is no reason for you to stop checking - tomorrow I will be posting details of how YOU can take part in a very special Look What Danny Made! live event!