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Marty L.

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I still have not tried balut, and probably won't.

But if you do, perhaps you should try it at a Filipino place, rather than at, say the Eden Center, at least if Wikipedia can be trusted:

"In the Philippines, the ideal balut is 17 days old, at which point it is said to be balot sa puti ("wrapped in white"). The chick inside is not old enough to show its beak, feathers or claws, and the bones are undeveloped. The Vietnamese often prefer their balut mature from 19 days up to 21 days, when the chick is old enough to be recognizable as a baby duck and has bones that will be firm but tender when cooked."

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As recently as ONE year ago, Filipino food was a barely existing, dying cuisine in the DC area. We had perhaps a half-dozen restaurants in the suburbs, most of them steam-table food, and some with markets in them. This has become a mini-trend.

This cuisine is very mild. No chopsticks. I'm trying to think of another Southeast Asian cuisine to compare it to, and I can't - it's its own thing. The Philippines was a Spanish colony (hence the name), and there is Spanish influence, but the same can be said for many countries. I've seen the articles: "Filipino Cuisine: More Than Just Lumpia," but the truth is that lumpia is, among many other things, a huge favorite in The Philippines.

The country consists of over 7,000 islands, and to say there's a lot of "regional cooking" would be an understatement.

And I still have not tried balut, and probably won't.

In my early days in the Navy, during Chiefs' initiation, many of the messes would make the selectees eat balut as an initiation rite.  They'd moved away from those hazing type intiation rituals by the time I made Chief, so I never had the opportunity to try it.

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