One of the great pleasures of living in Asia is trying new delicacies and tastes. The Century Egg is not one of them.
The Century Egg is known as many things: the hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, or in original Chinese pidan. It’s made by taking the egg of a duck, quail, or chicken and packing it into a clay and rice husk-based mixture. The eggs are then left for several weeks to even a few months.
After a while, rather than rotting, the egg will be preserved through the magic of chemistry. The end result is often quite nice to look at. A snowflake-like pattern often appears when peeled and it certainly create some sharp looking darker colours. The taste, however, entirely less artistic.
I was able to sample the egg at a recent work dinner, but ended up being one of only two who actually ate it. It wasn’t the most pleasant combination of textures and tastes. For one, the “whites” of the egg take on the consistency of Jell-o that has been left too long: dry, rubbery, and quite flavourless. The yolk is a mixture of tastes, namely, old socks, hamster cage sawdust and dog hair. The only other person who ate a slice of the Century Egg was a Korean coworker of mine who said that she ate them as a child but hasn’t eaten them since. I can’t imagine why.
Still, culture is culture, and if you ever get the chance, pop some in your mouth. At the very least you can add it to your own personal list of bizarre foods, and you can challenge your friends to find a more offensive taste.