Thursday, 7 August 2008

Century Eggs - The Epilogue

Two days ago I checked the stats on my blog. I’m used to getting a fairly decent number of hits per day and am generally happy when it hits three figures, usually after I’ve posted a photo on Tastespotting or Foodgawker. So I was a little taken aback to see that I’d had over 2,000 hits over the last 48 hours.

It turns out that the last post I wrote, about century eggs, was picked up by Neatorama and subsequently by a couple of other sites (here, for example). After doing a little happy dance I composed myself and thought about how I could carry on the general run of form.

And then I noticed that it had sparked something of a debate. It seems that century eggs have divided the global food community into two firm camps. I was accused of being ‘INCREDIBLY melodramatic’ (sic.) in my description of this foodstuff. Numerous century egg fans came out in defence of these weird snacks (sick) and then a raft of others backed me in my assessment.

OK, hands up, it’s a fair cop. I’ll admit now that I did exaggerate slightly for comic effect. I am a writer – it’s my job to try and entertain as well as inform. But what I wrote was etched in truth. I have an adventurous palate (these are not the most disgusting thing I have ever put in my mouth, that’s for sure) but these eggs were really not to my taste. And it seems some people agree with me:

However, to all those who doubted me and said I was being ‘melodramatic’, I am willing to be proved wrong. If there is enough demand I solemnly swear that I will go to my nearest Chinese supermarket and purchase a packet of century eggs. I will then post the resultant video of me eating one right here on my blog. As advised I will try it with sugar and hot sauce and congee. And if I am wrong and they don’t taste as bad as I first reported I will eat balut. Deal?

So, to register your interest simply leave a comment below and we’ll take it from there.


Alicia Foodycat said...

I am not a fan of combat eating. You didn't enjoy the eggs, so don't eat 'em again! No sense in eating something you don't like (unless it is your grandma's specialty, then you have to!)

Anonymous said...

I feel for you, Alex, I really do. But I think you should try the balut regardless of what happens...

And it's not just that I enjoy the spectacle of an Englishman puking his way around the far east or anything! :)

dp said...

Pure and simple--you are a chump. It's like watching a trainwreck, but I can't look away. And I mean all this in th nicest way.

You really don't have anything to prove. You've already earned your "street cred". Let everyone else debate all they want.

I (Heart) City said...

While I agree it's an acquired taste, it isn't fair to judge it eating it by itself; it'd be like eating a whole garlic clove on its own and declaring garlic as inedible.

I recommend it in small pieces in pork congee. Something like this:

Notice that it's 2 eggs for cups and cups of congee (very low egg to congee ratio) and that it's also cooked in the congee (this helps reduce some of the harsh flavours). For a newbie, try only a tiny bit of egg in each bite. Would you ever eat a piece of garlic if you've never had it before?

Also, not all eggs are made equal. Some have runnier yolks than others. The runnier, the stronger the taste and smell. I recommend trying to find one that has a firm/not runny center as a intro to the century eggs.

Lastly, as an enjoyer of Century Eggs, I don't think you'll enjoy them even with the tips above. Like anything new/strange, I think you'll need to try it at least a few (maybe more) times before you actually start enjoying them.

Patrick said...

You're a braver man than me, Alex. I'll the 1000 year eggs and the balut to the professionals.

I love your blog. Really extraordinary.

Just Cook It said...

Foodycat - I doubt whether my Grandma will be making these any time soon!

tom - I appreciate your support, when I make it back to Asia it will be the first thing on the menu. I'll keep you posted.

Darlene - You make a good point, even if you did call me a chump.

mii - Now that sounds much more edible. I could go with that and would be happy to try. An acquired taste perhaps, that I will just have to acquire.

Patrick - thanks for the kind words, I really do appreciate the comments.

Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of trying weird and novel foodstuffs. Teh INtarnets made me want to try these, so I picked up a package. I must admit, my first (and last) egg caught me by surprise, and nearly made me sick. I would be hard-pressed to think of a circumstance, short of starvation, under which such a chemical-smelling food would be appealing. The taste wasn't horrible, but the odor and texture just combined to be almost too much to bear.

Katy said...

Alex, I came across this post via MiMi's MC interview - not sure you'll see this. Without checking through all the posted comments, I should say that very rarely 'century egg' is eaten on its own - certainly you don't stick your face in and sniff it - try this combination next time, see if you like it: eat it with tofu, shredded dried fish, chopped spring onions, drops of vinegar and soy sauce (saltier rather than sweet sauce). It's even tastier with fish meat floss (but that's not so common in England)

I am from Taipei, by the way.