Eating delicacies from around the world is fun…for me. I don’t eat most of the more “interesting” stuff. No. Instead, I dare my husband to eat horrible things. He has turned me down a couple times but he is a trooper and game most the time. I honestly love him more each time he does stuff like this for my entertainment.
Today we are in Siem Reap Cambodia and met up for Lunch with some friends, Aimee and George (from England), we had met in Chiang Mai a few weeks earlier.
We had a great time chatting and enjoying our food and company. Aimee wanted to go to a market she heard about that had live snakes you could buy. Not that she was going to buy one but, she wanted to see them.
We hired a tuk-tuk and off we went to the Psar Leu Thom Tmey market, which is Ginormous by the way!
Once there, we had to weave through all the stalls loaded to the gills with stuff. It would take a week to go through the entire place so we decided to ask some vendors where we might find some snakes or perhaps food.
We weren’t hungry but we know that live snakes are food… So yeah, we headed towards the food. Along the way, we saw all kinds of live fish on baskets, crabs, eels…but no snakes. Not even dead ones or cooked ones.
We found some strong smells along with the foods and LOTS of foreign water everywhere. Shawn and I are used to the smell of poop, vomit, and fish all woven together in some of the more ‘authentic’ markets but, Aimee and George were still working on getting used to the smell. Not that one ever gets fully used to it. I think you just get familiar with, and expect, it so you don’t become as squeamish.
On our hunt for snakes, I noticed a woman with a bunch of eggs and one cracked open sitting on top of the others… it was BALUT!
What is Balut?
For those of you unfamiliar with what Balut is, here is the definition, from Wikipedia along with a photo I took.
Balut (/bəˈluː/ bə-LOOT, /ˈbɑːluː/ BAH-loot; also spelled as balot) is a developing bird embryo (usually a duck) that is boiled and eaten from the shell. It originated from and is commonly sold as street food in the Philippines.
Back to the story
As I’ve mentioned, we aren’t in the Philippines. Cambodian’s must also enjoy this delicacy since it’s in one of their local’s markets.
We arrive at a dead end in the market and I say something like “Hey guys, I saw some Balut back there. Let’s go and get one and have Shawn eat it!”
Shawn gave me a face and then was like…okay. Fine! Aimee and George were a bit squeamish of the idea. I found the Balut seller and gave her $1 for an egg. She tried to give me 4 of them. We declined and were finally able to convey, after about 2 minutes of explaining, that we only wanted 1 egg. We let her keep the change.
I decided to find an open area for Shawn to eat in… Down a gross alley with just a handful of stalls, lots of smelly foreign water and…garbage nearby.
This way, if he vomited or made a mess with the shells and egg, it wouldn’t be as bad.
I hope you enjoy watching the video. It makes me so happy. It made Sebastian VERY excited and also gave a good chuckle to all the locals who watched Shawn try Balut.
I took a video screenshot of Shawn’s face (the one used for the main photo of this post) after he opens the egg… Priceless!
Let me know what you think. Would you try Balut? What’s the craziest thing you’ve eaten?
An hour later…Shawn plucked a feather out from his teeth! I’m still smiling.