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Claudio probably needn't worry, but self-described "idea generator" Val Zubiri is attempting to ignite a balut craze in local bars by introducing tavern keepers and shock jocks to the infamous fertilized, half-developed duck eggs, popular as a Filipino drinking snack [via].
From his sprawling BananaQ Balut Web site,
If you remember, Fear Factor showed the balut, depicting it as a really yucky food. Millions of people saw the balut depicted in a "yucky" way, in bright lights and with the chick exposed and stared at. It was the purpose of the show to surprise and gross out the contestants with balut. The contestants were shocked and unprepared.
Whether this is politically correct or not, offensive or not, BananaQ has decided to ride this publicity and try to correct the image of the balut. Please tell people that the Balut is traditionally sold at night, not in the daylight and with the spotlight on. Tell them that it is not traditional to expose and stare at the chick prior to eating it.
Well, giddyap. Zubiri is hosting an industry-only balut tasting next Wednesday at the Wild Pug--only bar owners, traditional media, and "popular" food bloggers need apply. But if you're feeling left out, curious, or just looking for an alternative for your Easter egg hunt, you can buy balut yourself at Hoa Nam, 1101 W. Argyle, 773-275-9157 (boil before eating). If you're squeamish, check out David Hammond's detailed and, trust me, entirely accurate account of what they taste like.
To subject yourself to a brightly lit "yucky" photo, click the second image at the bottom of the post.