Crime of the “century egg”


IMG_1379British tourists have a reputation for being a bit conservative when it comes to sampling foreign food – witness the plethora of English pubs and fish and chip shops in many a holiday destination.

The Forager was therefore delighted to see that Poultry World reporter Jake Davies, currently on sabbatical in the Far East, has been a little more adventurous at meal times.

Chicken feet and pigs’ trotters were sampled early on, being described as “chewy” and “tasty” respectively. But then came the infamous “century egg”.

According to Wikipedia, the century egg “is a Chinese delicacy made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime and rice hulls for several weeks to several months.

“Through the process, the yolk becomes a dark green to grey colour, with a creamy consistency and strong flavour due to the hydrogen sulfide and ammonia present, while the white becomes a dark brown, translucent jelly with a salty flavour.

“The transforming agent gradually raises the pH of the egg to around 9–12 during the curing process. This chemical process breaks down some of the complex, flavourless proteins and fats, which produces a variety of smaller, flavourful compounds.”

Despite all this, Jake can confirm that it still “tastes like shit”….