My mother, although multi-talented, had an aversion to the kitchen and has often said that I learned to cook at an early age “out of self-defense.” When she made chicken à l'orange by smearing a chicken with powdered Tang, I quickly developed a necessary passion for creating tasty things to eat. Somewhere in the family photograph album is a picture of me at the stove, age ten, happily stirring marinara sauce.

I developed a lifelong fascination with food; good food. There was even a foray of working as a chef’s assistant at a French restaurant during my mid twenties, just for fun. I had always loved watching Julia Child and knew that Mastering the Art of French Cooking was to be revered. It wasn’t until I read her biography (long before the Julie & Julia movie) that I really became fascinated with her work. From that book, I decided to prepare her recipe for mayonnaise.

Upon tasting it, I wept. . . .

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Yes, I have actually tried "balut" -- that infamous, popular food item in the Philippines in which a halfway developed duck egg is cooked and eaten.

I've always been very interested in trying all kinds of strange food items. So, one day I was presented with a balut egg and actually took the opportunity to try it.

Here is the cooked, peeled balut egg.

Strangely enough, it smells a lot like freshly boiled crab.

Here, you can see the yolk and the white:

After separating the yolk part from the white, one comes across some of the "meaty" part of the egg.

And then, there's the partially-formed baby duck thing.
And yes, I tried a bite of it. Actually, it's not as horrible as you'd think. It tastes like a very rich egg mixed with chicken liver.

I don't particularly care for chicken livers at all, so I only ate one little nibble of it. However, I can see how this would be a very nutritious food item.

I wonder if Julia Child ever tried it? Balut a l'Orange?

I don't think so. . .

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