Monday, January 23, 2006

Beware of the Balut Eggs...

Joe Carter tries to raise the concept of eating fetuses to some moral arguement today. Which reminds me of my weekend...

Carter's post triggers reminiscinces of chuckles - nah, memmories of guffaws- unleashed in the gastronomic sancta of some very good but moderatly priced restaurants in Asia- because I am reminded of Mary Roach's book Stiffs: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, and especially the chapter entitled "Eat Me," which is of particular relevance to this discussion, in which it is made known that the stories about aborted babies being made into food in China was a made-up-from-whole-cloth story by the religious right (as was the Reuters story about two brothers, one of whom worked at a crematorium and another who worked in a Restaurant). But that doesn't mean that some medications in China are embryo-free.

It's possible they're not, according to Roach.

Well, let's leave that question there, and consider whether your yuck factor going into overdrive- as my dear wife's did - when she saw 2 dozen eggs at a very attractive price in the new Asian market that just opened. Only they were labelled Balut eggs.

Not knowing what Balut eggs are (after all, it's not a Chinese word), my wife bought the eggs, and returned home to make her rice cakes. She took out a mixing bowl, poured in the rice flour, the milk, but when it came time to crack the eggs, she noticed that the eggs had chicken embryos in them.

What my story illustrates, is, despite Carter's misanthropism, ("P.Z. Meyers would do it for a million bucks!") is that if you're making rice-cakes, Balut eggs or human fetuses simply won't do, and even someone who knows about the concept of consumption of the placenta of homo sapiens will be taken aback when a chicken fetus appears in the mixing bowl.

So I would have to say, it most certainly depends on the cuisine and method of preparation. As the Food Network show Iron Chef has shown, add enough truffles and caviar to a dish, and Asako Kishi will praise it to high heaven every time. And you know caviar are eggs, too.

In the bible, its passages that don't-condemn-eating-babies don't go into any great detail about the method of preparation, and so we can't really know what they tasted like. But perhaps with enough garlic and butter, ...who knows? People will eat snails if there is a sufficient quantity of garlic and butter present.

Now if that arouses your yuck factor, and righteous indignation, perhaps you can imagine how a vegan raw foodist like Tre Arrow might feel.

No comments: