February 6th, 2014
09:45 AM ET
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Despite being an object of culinary fascination around the world, balut is no beauty queen.

The 18-day-old fertilized duck egg - a snack widely eaten in the Philippines - has revolted even the most daring foodies with its carnal textures, earning it lofty rankings on many a "most disgusting/strange/terrifying food" list.

While food journalists commonly label balut as the Philippines' "much loved delicacy," in reality Filipinos are decidedly split over their nation's oft-sung snack.

The science experiment you eat

Acceptance of balut often depends on exposure at a young age, much like Vegemite in Australia.

In an apparent attempt to preserve the delicacy's popularity among the country's rapidly modernizing and discriminating palates, some schools in the Philippines introduce balut to young students during science classes.

Students use balut to study the anatomy of birds, then eat the compressed bird beak, veins and developing wings within.

Read - Balut: The Filipino delicacy that makes the world squirm

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Filed under: Filipino • Taboos

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Come On Man

    Love Filipino food, culture, and people but I am too much a punk to suck back balut.

    February 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
  2. Michael

    I ate them. They have different kinds and sometimes use chicken eggs. They name them differently depending on the age of the embryo. I for get the names. It is rumored to be good for boom-boom.

    February 6, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
  3. Weeds

    At some point of starvation this would appear to be a feast. I'm going to wait until I see the expression on Bordain's face when he eats one before I try it.
    Get Tony to try it, he'll eat anything.

    February 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
  4. Truth™

    No disrespect to another culture's culinary traditions, but I would try to avoid this like the plague...

    February 6, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
  5. Thinking things through

    Do they cook it, or is it still wriggling?

    February 6, 2014 at 10:55 am |
    • Michael

      It is cooked

      February 6, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
  6. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    I'd hit it.

    February 6, 2014 at 10:47 am |
  7. RC

    *Gag* *Choke*........No way.

    February 6, 2014 at 10:34 am |
    • AleeD®

      So ... you wouldn't ask for some Grey Poupon with your warm duck embryo? I concur.

      February 6, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
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