An age-old practice in Asian cultures, particularly Chinese, involves eating something called century eggs.
Eggs are the most versatile and easy-to-make food item. If you’re hungry, you can easily make an omlette or a poached egg or simply boil it to eat satiate yourself. It is hassle-free and doesn’t require complicated cooking techniques. Then how about century eggs? Do you think they are also a quick 15 minute job? We don’t think so. This ancient tradition of eating century eggs is quite common in Asian cultures, specially Thai and Chinese. The good part is that they don’t take a century to be made.
Also known as hundred-year eggs or millennium eggs in different cultures, these eggs have a distinct personality and appearance. Made from a special cooking technique that lasts anywhere between a few weeks to a few months, these eggs finally appear on the table with a unique colour. While the outside of the egg may not seem to surprise you, as soon as you peel it open, the dark inner part will leave you stunned. The century eggs are usually soaked in a mixture of quick lime, ash, clay and alkaline salt. The saline solution is used to preserve the eggs for a few weeks or months, after which they can be eaten.
The result of this preservation process is the fact that while the egg shell’s off white colour remains intact, it is the inner part of the egg that turns black. The texture of the egg yolk becomes very creamy and it acquires a dark green colour, as opposed to the traditional yellow. The egg whites also become dark brown in the process. While the eggs may not look very appetizing, the taste is believed to be marvelous.
Usually, these eggs are eaten alone for breakfast but at times, people may serve it with a bowl of ramen, rice, soy sauce, kimchi and many other dishes. These eggs perfectly fit the bill for a creamy and delicious side dish. For the purpose of this tradition, chicken, duck or quail eggs can used in the preservation process, although duck eggs are preferred the most.
Giving the story a historical touch, legend states that these eggs were accidentally discovered by a Hunan native who decided to try duck eggs from a pool filled with slaked lime. So, do you think you’d want to try them anytime soon?