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Filipino Home Baking’s Balut

The Dish: Filipino Home Baking & Grocery’s Balut ($1.29 each)

What It Is: A duck egg with a visible 16- to 21-day-old embryo inside—wings, beak, and all. A good balut has four parts: the white, the yolk, the amniotic fluid, and the embryo itself. At Filipino Home Baking & Grocery, the eggs are sold fresh and need to be simmered for 25 to 30 minutes before eating.

balut-DeVito-3What It Tastes Like: Better than it looks—kind of like a hard-boiled egg, but wetter. The baby duck is nearly gelatinous, and after 30 minutes of cooking, your house will smell like sulfur and chicken soup.

History of the Dish: We’ll never know who first thought to eat balut, but it’s now a common street food in the Philippines and parts of Southeast Asia, seasoned with a little salt or soy sauce, and washed down with an ice-cold brew. Despite its creepy appearance, balut is more nutritious than any chicken egg and high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Some even consider it an aphrodisiac.

How to Eat It: Crack the shell, peel it back, slurp the liquid, then take a bite. Beer chaser optional.

Filipino Home Baking & Grocery
11222 Triangle Lane
Wheaton, MD
(301) 942-2800

This article was previously published in the Washington City Paper.

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Mary Kong-DeVito

Founder + Creative Director. Mary grew up in New York where the food-centric city and her family's restaurants were literally her playground. Instead of eating dirt, she ate duck blood and rotten eggs. You never know what you'll find on the sidewalks.Mary is a veteran of the hospitality industry who's worked with numerous celebrities such as Barbra Streisand, Patrick Ewing, Vanessa Williams, Michael Stipe and Jane Krakowski. Her writing has appeared in USA Today, DC Modern Luxury, Washington Post Express, Eater, Scoutmob, Washington Flyer and Washington City Paper.She eats "normal" stuff too, like cheeseburgers. Kangaroo cheeseburgers.

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