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Fermented

It been a while since I documented eating something weird, so today we have a good one.

I bought a few things for my last-minute update. What really got my attention was this:

And we will get to that magnificent black egg, but I also got some soda to wash it down with. I’m going to present this in reverse order, to build suspense.

Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola. I picked this up because I was, well, curious. I figured what would go better with an old preserved egg than a fermented ginger cola? If you’re going fermented, go all the way. Also I love drinks that suggest “up end before pouring”. Mmm… sediment.

The ingredients intrigue me. So let’s crack it open and give it a whiff.

Smells like cola and ginger, but brighter. Sharp, like a backing of lemon. It’s probably the malt.

Taste? It’s a lot like it smells. Cola, ginger, malty and bright, almost pine-like. It tastes yellow. I might even taste some of that juniper they listed in the ingredients. But really, who knows what juniper tastes like? In short, I love it.

Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola! Delicious. But enough with the surprisingly good thing.

—————–

On to the main event:

Another view of that glorious box. Preserved Duck Egg. It’s Taiwan Flavor, and although it makes me nervous, I shouldn’t worry, because, “Hey, lead free!”

Good.

It came in a pack of four. Individually packed, which means I can eat one now, and save the rest for when amnesia sets in and I forget how horrifying it is.

Freshly unwrapped, the scent is evident. It’s not overpowering, but it’s certainly unpleasant. Struggling to put it into words, I say, “Wet cat, or cat lady’s house.” There’s a distinct ammonia smell, but also a powdery clay aftersmell. Is aftersmell a word?

Now, I get to crackin’. It’s easier to open than a standard boiled chicken egg. I think the egg has shrunk a bit inside, leaving some space between the egg and shell. Once open there’s a stronger scent. Slightly different, but still not overwhelming. It smells like reptile cages, or damp soil and latex paint.

The “whites” (now dark amber) are gelatinous. It looks like brown glass.

Down where the yolk is, the color becomes green-gray with little crystallized stars. I would have been convinced that these speckles were mold if it hadn’t been featured on the box. So, this is something that is desirable in this product. It looks like a rock here, but it’s not. It’s jell-o.

Brace yourself for this next picture.

Holy hell, you guys. HOLY HELL! What is this? What have I done? Why?! OH WHY?!

Did you say closeup? OK:

This has been specially designed to light up all of my do-not-eat-this sensors. It looks infected.

Still, the show must go on. Let’s start with the least offensive part.

The whites, or the purples. I cut off a section of gelatinous, wobbly purple, and hold it up to the light.

This doesn’t look all that bad. I can imagine it’s something else.

I chew it for a while. Megan asks, “Is it terrible?” I think about it. Honestly, no. It’s fine. This tastes almost exactly like hard boiled egg whites. Maybe a little smokier, but it’s barely perceptible. The texture is a little softer, but blindfolded, I’m not sure I would spot the difference.

Next comes the part I’m less okay with. The slug part. The liquified turtle feet. I don’t know. I don’t want! No!

In it goes. Like a band-aid. I don’t mean quickly, to avoid the pain of waiting, I mean the taste is like a band-aid. OK, not really.

The taste is unique. The first thing my taste buds scream is “EGG!”, but not in a good way. In that way that you would scream it if you were being murdered by an egg. The liquid yolk completely coats my mouth, and there is no way to avoid it. It is in every fold of my tongue. Between my lips and gums. Every possible spot is covered with a creamy, eggy odor. The ring of horror around the yolk is a bit caustic.

But what exactly does it taste like? Dead, wet, gutter leaves in browned butter, but more intense. It tastes like soil, fat, and rust stored in an old tin can and eaten on a cold day. Old, smokey eggs with a touch of battery acid.

Now, all that said, I can understand why people might grow to like this. It was a terrible experience for me, but so were mushrooms when I was 5. There’s really nothing that tastes like this, and it’s such a unique flavor, you could easily become a connoisseur. Like a gross old wine that tastes like dirt, it’s supposed to be bitter and ghastly. That’s the point.

Worst thing I’ve ever eaten? Maybe. It’s in the top 5 I know that. That was fun.

I’ve still got 3. Anybody want to have a tasting party?

Check back next time for a weird canned food explosion:

——–

Check out more “Adventures in eating.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2011 6:32 pm

    Ok – that was as bad as watching “Bizzare Foods” only I had to read it, so it was like extra torture because you can’t look away, because you’re reading it. I think I really lost it when you cracked the egg and it had “strings”; eggs aren’t supposed to have strings….

  2. October 22, 2011 10:09 pm

    I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to cook them first 😛

    I’m Chinese, so my family eats these all the time. I can’t actually stomach them (I puke every time), but according to them, it’s a delicacy, so…

    P.S. The ‘mold’ is I think artificially added to resemble pine leaves or whatever. Not sure how that came to be.

    P.P.S. Funny, a twitter friend (also Chinese) was talking about the return of Fear Factor, where in one episode, they had to eat one of these eggs, which he thought was stupid, because, y’know, people eat these eggs.

    P.P.P.S. Then again, Italians eat casu marzu, which nobody else can; Filipinos eat baluts, which nobody else can; Japanese eat raw octopuses, which nobody else can; and we eat rare steak, which nobody else can. Derp herp

    P.P.P.P.S. I asked my mom one day how the heck people invented this. Apparently (a folk tale) back thousands of years ago, these workers were building houses for rich people or something. As they weren’t paid much, they had to save every bit of food they could. Thus, some of them actually stole food and hid it. As they built houses, they had limestone everywhere, which is where they usually stored their stolen food, which was commonly eggs. One day, some guy was building a house when he found an egg buried under limestone for a month or something. Being hungry and poor, he decided to eat it and, I don’t know, thought it was yummy? :v

    • October 23, 2011 12:51 am

      Awesome and informative. It was a new experience for me. Very new. Never had anything like it.

    • October 26, 2011 5:15 pm

      re: Mushyrulez

      Actually you eat them straight up from the shell, no cooking. Often it is accompanied with some soy sauce, sesame oil, and mashed tofu.

      • October 26, 2011 5:16 pm

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Century_egg

        Learning is half the battle. GI JOOOOEEEEEEeeeeee.

      • November 17, 2011 5:45 pm

        That’s how I eat them! My mom makes a cold dish with diced preserved egg with tofu, some green onion and some sesame oil and a bit of soy sauce…goes great with rice porridge..

    • April 23, 2012 7:37 pm

      Hey! I’ve eaten raw octopus, but I’ve from a culture that
      considers dinner to be anything that gets in frount of the
      car after a weekend bender, my grandmother on mother’s
      side used to take “inedible” as a personal challenge. Great
      food – just as long you don’t ask what it was . . .

      ie – Raccoon?

  3. October 24, 2011 10:08 am

    That cola sounds absolutely delicious, but I’m pretty sure after reading and seeing the fermented egg, I’m going to vomit.

    • October 24, 2011 10:48 am

      Yeah, that’s the struggle. I want to accurately show what happened so you can experience it, but maybe some things shouldn’t be a shared experience. 🙂

  4. Deborah Hepworth permalink
    October 24, 2011 6:42 pm

    This is your Dad writing on your Mom’s computer. Eggcellent.

  5. Deborah Hepworth permalink
    October 24, 2011 7:15 pm

    This is your mom now and that is the most nauseating narrative I’ve ever read. Great job, though, cause I could actually TASTE this as I read it. YUCK

    • October 26, 2011 5:22 pm

      Dear Internet,
      Aren’t my parents adorable?

      • November 17, 2011 5:45 pm

        LOL – “This is your dad using your mom’s computer.”
        …Sounds like my in-laws. (There’s no way my dad would even get near a computer)

        BTW – Enjoying your site so far.

  6. October 25, 2011 8:48 pm

    Okay…the cola…I’ve had that brand only we had dandelion root soda and we hated it. Not a fan of the fermented beverages, but you might like it. Got it at Cost Plus, which is where we buy most of our sodas these days.

    Now…the eggs. All I can say is ISH. You sir are a braver eater than I.

  7. ArtyDecor permalink
    October 26, 2011 7:40 pm

    I love these eggs but most people don’t eat it plain.

    It’s usually a part of a dish and is supposed to add flavor to it.

    For example, my favorite is “Congee with Pork and Preserved Eggs Recipe 皮蛋瘦肉粥”

    You can see some pictures here:
    http://www.smokywok.com/2009/03/congee-with-pork-and-preserved-eggs.html

    And the second is “Tofu with Century Egg and Spring Onions”

    I guarantee if you were to eat it again but properly prepared you might actually enjoy it (or maybe not… 🙂

    (Oh, and I found your blog from a post on Reddit if you’re wondering)

  8. October 30, 2011 3:02 am

    What does juniper taste like? Well, it’s one of the primary flavors in good corned beef. And if you need any more adventures in eating ideas, I still have 4 more of those terrible stevia rootbeers.

    • October 30, 2011 10:57 am

      Excellent, but no thank you. That root beer made my mouth cry. Also, Curiosity Cola tastes almost nothing like corned beef 🙂

  9. November 5, 2011 4:12 pm

    Oh gosh, I laughed so hard I cried. I’d probably cry, too, if I had to eat one of those things. But now that you’ve so thoroughly described it (“soil, fat and rust in a tin can” about sums it up), I’ll never have to. This is like a public service!

  10. November 16, 2011 4:18 pm

    I liked the part about being murdered by an egg.

  11. April 23, 2012 7:21 pm

    There is something called balut.
    I would eat all four of your eggs
    before trying that one, lets just
    say It’s the least appropriate
    thing to searve at a pro-life
    rally.

  12. Melinda permalink
    January 13, 2013 7:42 am

    I love reading your blog and particularly adventures In eating. You should try mochi ice cream from a local asian market, they’re interesting and taste good – you deserve it after reading this post!

  13. Korin permalink
    May 8, 2013 6:29 pm

    I eat these regularly but I prefer the ones with just the green center and not the gooey ones that look like they weren’t completely fermented. Like others have said, you are supposed to eat this with sauce, like soy or terriaki with a lot of rice. You usually eat a small portion of it at a time with a lot of rice porridge for flavor. The egg’s flavor changes dramatically with Soy or Terriaki and other spices.

  14. Frederika permalink
    June 17, 2016 2:05 am

    totally hysterically funny……and very interesting!!!!!! thanks for being guinea pig

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