Take a thrill ride with Eater Miami's Truck Guy Daniel Treiman as he explores the Fear Factor element of a particular Miami food truck.
At Manila Rice, a recent addition to the food truck scene serving authentic Filipino food, you can sample rice bowls, egg rolls, and other traditional fare from the Philippines. Hidden amongst the other beginner-friendly dishes, however, lurks an item seemingly taken from an episode of Fear Factor.
The balut, a fertilized duck egg which is boiled and served in the shell with vinegar and salt, looks harmless enough. But once you crack off the top of the shell, you'll find a prehistoric-looking, fully-developed duck embryo staring back at you. A popular snack served by Filipino street vendors and usually paired with beer, it is believed by many to be an aphrodisiac.
Producers incubate fertilized duck eggs until they reach the desired stage of development, which takes around 17 days, and then serve them simply boiled. This is a hard-boiled egg taken to the next level; a combination of eggy flavor, texture from the partially developed embryo, and the flavorful "broth" that bathes the young chick.
At $4, balut is a cheap thrill that will transport you halfway around the globe, and a great way to impress your friends with your culinary bravado or satisfy your appetite for the bizarre. And who knows, you might even like it.---Daniel Treiman