Over the holidays I spoke with many family members about many different things, including details about our past year and most recent travels to Vietnam. As some of you know already, I forgot my camera in Vietnam. I have been extremely bummed about it especially since I have 5 weeks of holiday and it would be the perfect time to share our experiences (and photos) on this here blog. As I spoke with my Uncle Brian on Christmas, I not only realized that he wins the award for the most loyal blog reader, he reminded me that I had some things to share about Vietnam, even without my photos.
So Uncle Brian said that one of his favorite parts of the blog are the posts about food, and boy do I have a good one for all of you!
The Century Egg! The dreaded, blackened, gross looking egg that Cody and I vowed NEVER to let pass our lips. We have passed it on the bottom shelf of our supermarket and shuttered many times, but yet, Cody did it. Call it peer pressure or the perfect mix of opportunity and environment, but as we were sitting on the street drinking some local beers, chatting with some newly found local friends, Cody took the offered egg and placed a small portion in his mouth.
So the lead up is killing you right. You are saying Rorey, what is the big deal? But…
this is a picture of what he ate! Not only does Cody not eat anything resembling a hard boiled egg, ever, but it was described as tasting like a nice smooth cheese. Really? I don’t think so. I could not do it, but Cody was a trooper and actually said it was not too bad.
So what is it? Well, the lovely contributors at wiki say:
Century egg, also known as preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, thousand-year-old egg, and millennium egg (or Pidan in Mandarin), is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing. Through the process, the yolk becomes a dark green, cream-like substance with a strong odor of sulphur and ammonia, while the white becomes a dark brown, transparent jelly with little flavor. The transforming agent in the century egg is its alkaline material, which gradually raises the pH of the egg to around 9, 12, or more. This chemical process breaks down some of the complex, flavorless proteins and fats, which produces a variety of smaller flavorful compounds.
And if you are brave, here is how you can make one.
In addition, since it is a delicacy, they make it look all pretty and nice in these pictures.