Location: Manila, Northern Capital Region, The Philippines
Balut is a delicacy of the Philippines, a favorite late-night drunk food, and a must-try for any visitor to the country. But before you get overexcited and buy one from a passing vendor with a thermos full of 'em, be aware that it's a preserved duck fetus. Yeah.
No joke, it's all there. The feathers, the stringy little thigh bones that haven't quite developed yet, and even the beak and eyes. The first night I tried one, I was drunk and it wasn't so bad. But during my attempt to consume the one pictured above, I failed miserably. It was too intense for me (and I enjoy eating weird shit). The key, I've heard, is to get one that's not quite as developed. Then, the fetus is just a ball of black liver-like softness.
It all kind of tastes musty and salty. The white part is flavorless and has the consistency of an old rubber band. It's tough to chew through. The yellow part is soft, like butter. And the duck...it's exactly what you would imagine eating a half-developed bird.