Dangerous food impulse buys gone wrong

Mixed bag | January 11, 2014 | By

Friends, I gotta tell ya, being a dangerous food home chef is not always easy. There can be big bumps on the road to creative food greatness.

You may remember how karela made “bitter” seem like an immense understatement


Or how jerusalem artichoke nearly “choked” everyone sharing a plane with my husband because of its gaseous nature

Jerusalem Artichokes

But there are some dangerous foods that don’t ever attain the glorious spotlight that is my blog. There are times that I’m drawn in by the idea of something, and then I see it somewhere and snap it up, only to get it home and have my tongue turtle in my mouth in fear (how’s that for an image?).

These are my dangerous food impulse buys. Foods that I purchase with excitement due to their entertainment value, but that are left on the cutting room floor without ever being cut up.

You probably recall that in my last post I bought some reindeer moss, only to Google and find out that its most delicious preparation is as a gagorific gelatinous baking soda soaked pulp. Mmmmmm (we ate the reindeer instead).

Reindeer moss

Here are a few things I saw at a candy store in BC, that I was actually smart enough to leave behind. But I was extremely tempted. Somehow I don’t feel I would have been pleasantly surprised by their flavour.

Worm snacks

Cricket snacks


And now, just this week, I picked up two dangerous foods at the second-rate multicultural grocery store while wasting time during my daughter’s gymnastics class. One was purely because I enjoyed its marketing. It tastes a lot like licking an antique chair would, in case you were wondering. But oh, if it works…

Fat burning tea

And now for the most traumatic dangerous impulse buy. Drum roll please…


Looks like a harmless duck egg, doesn’t it? It does, except that it’s not. It’s actually balut, which I saw at that store and said to myself, “Oh wow, I don’t think you can get those just anywhere, and for only $1.30!” Unfortunately I didn’t think about what I was going to do with it until I got it home.

What is balut, you ask? Well, in the Philippines especially, it’s a delicacy to eat fertilized eggs before they hatch. The baby duck bones aren’t fully formed yet, so the duck fetuses aren’t even crunchy (phew, said sarcastically). Apparently they eat them when they’re warm with ginger and other spices, and they taste something like chicken soup.

Inside a balut egg


This is hearsay however, because I couldn’t even open mine (Thanks Marshall Astor for that photo).

Especially when I’ve been having a long distance chicken relationship with my blog friends’ chickens, and just discovered that they’ve reached egg-laying maturity. And now I’m about to chow down on some other poor bird mom’s baby?

I don’t think so.

But now you know that balut exists, anyway. You’re welcome (especially you vegetarians).

Question: Have you ever had food impulse buys that have gone horribly wrong? Have you ever eaten balut?

PS Does it freak anyone else out that my egg has a crack in it?


While I know in my mind that a baby chick couldn’t survive refrigeration, part of me was excited about the sudden prospect of a duck pet.


  1. Leave a Reply

    Jackie Dale
    January 12, 2014

    Oh my. I don’t know what to say about that picture or balut but I can guarantee I will never try that one!!!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      January 12, 2014

      Not even wrapped in bacon? Isn’t everything better with bacon these days? Should have done that. If I could have opened it.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Trevor aka The Burger Nerd
    January 12, 2014

    I had to comment on this post. I first saw Balut maybe ten years ago on a travel show starring (I think) Ian Wright. I couldn’t believe people enjoyed a dish like this. I believe in that same episode, not only did Ian tackle Balut but also ate (actually more like slurped out) the inside of a raw bull’s eye! Talk about a double dose of disgusting.

    I’m with you…YUCK! As adventurous as I can be with my food, the look of Balut makes me want to curl into a ball and shiver. I think some of my fear is based upon seeing and smelling rotten eggs – a vile smell. That’s the smell which pops into my head each and every time I see Balut. I’ll eat feet, tongue, some organs, tails, necks, skin, etc. but I stop when chicks are essentially still in the womb and malformed. I feel like shaking the people who eat Balut and saying, “You know what else tastes like chicken soup? Real Chicken soup!” lol.

    Great article, always fun reading your posts. Loved the recap and always appreciate the honesty and candor in your writing.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      January 12, 2014

      So no balut burger then. This makes me very relieved. Thanks for the kind words!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      January 12, 2014

      Glad to hear you’re on team “no thanks.” I’d be interested to meet a “yes please” person though. I’d feed them SO much other stuff. 🙂

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