Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bizarre Easter Egg Hunt

What would be a Weird Food Club Easter without a Bizarre Easter Egg Hunt??

1. Balut

Balut is a duck egg with a nearly developed embryo inside, commonly sold as street food in the Philippines. You can try it at Maharlika (351 E 12th St / btw 2nd Ave & 1st Ave). If you have the courage to try balut, order it as soon as you walk in, as it might take a while to prepare. Plus, don't forget to try the sisig (pig snout, ears, belly with egg).
More about balut here

2. 1000-year-old egg

In Chinese cuisine, these are duck or chicken eggs that preserved for at least 100 days in a clay-like mixture of red earth, garden lime, salt, wood ash, and tea and wrapped in rice husks. In the process, the egg yolk becomes dark green or gray and assumes a sulfuric smell, while the white turns into brown jelly.
You can try a century egg with lean pork or with jellyfish at XO Kitchen (148 Hester St btw Bowery & Elizabeth St).
More about 1000-year-old egg here.

3. Eggs of Unusual Birds

Whole Foods in Lower East Side (95 E Houston St) and Tribeca (270 Greenwich St) carry ostrich, pheasant, duck and quail eggs. Ostrich eggs are the largest of all eggs, measuring on average 5.9 in long, 5.1 in wide, and weigh 3.1 lb. I also randomly stumbled upon ostrich eggs at a farmer's market on Upper West Side ($30).

Eating ostrich eggs can give you a stomachache if they are not cooked properly. If attempting to boil, it will take 90 minutes and the outside will turn to tough rubbery consistency. Our recommendation is to make a giant scrambled egg party out of it and save the shell for decoration!

More about ostrich eggs here

WFC member Jaclynn with Ostrich Egg

Read about 3 other bizarre egg dishes.

4. Scotch Egg

(via Flickr)

A Scotch Egg consists of a hard-boiled egg, encased in sausage, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. It is commonly served cold, with a pickle. You can try it at The Breslin (16 West 29th Street), $8. Be sure to also order the Breslin's gigantic stuffed pig's foot for 2 (beware that our group of 8 couldn't finish it!) Other notables on their menu are rabbit, chicken liver and headcheese terrines.

5. Hakone's Owakudani Black Egg

I tried these on my recent trip to Hakone, Japan. These are simply eggs boiled in sulfur spring water in Hakone, a town filled with onsen (hot spring resorts). These eggs look cool but they taste like regular boiled eggs.

We had some other interesting things in Japan, including bizarre items in a conveyor belt sushi place.

6. Twin Eggs
Closer to home, you can sometimes find eggs with two yolks in your regular supermarket. We were so lucky, we got 2 twin eggs in the same dozen! Make sure to pick up the non-organic, stuffed-with-hormones type to increase your chances.

1. Raw twin egg 2. Boiled twin egg

Happy Hunting! Continue...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Adventurous food in Taipei, Taiwan

The scariest things I've tried to date are snake blood, snake bile, and snake venom cocktails on my trip to Taipei, Taiwan.

All of these liquids were diluted with plum juice to make palatable, but I definitely was waiting for something bad to happen to me (like death) for about a week after I had these adventurous cocktails.

Snake cocktails and snake soup can be found in Snake Alley, in Hwashi covered night market in Taipei. Establishments in this part of town also sell turtle meat, and deer penis wine. All of these delicacies are said to have virility benefits. The turtles looked way too cute to eat so I didn't get those. Pig snouts and grilled insects looked interesting as well.

Taipei scores big points on the adventurous food scale, and even more so for one of their biggest modern food innovations: the toast dessert at Dazzling Cafe. It's a giant half-loaf of white bread scooped out and filled with ice cream, fruits, macarons, condensed milk, chocolate and syrups! This brilliant invention needs to be exported to the US immediately.

We also visited the Modern Toilet restaurant, where meals are served in mini toilets and look like poop and/or pee. I hope they open one in New York!