I have had it pretty easy the last couple of tastings so I wanted to be sure I put my neck out this time. A century egg goes by many names, preserved duck egg, hundred year egg, or thousand year egg. Regardless of the name they are all created by preserving an egg in an alkaline material until its ph is raised to a safe level. I have been looking for them for a while, they were actually easy to find but I wanted to buy one, not six. I had to finally break down and get a 6 pack.
Please note the “Lead Free” on the label, that made me feel so much better about this tasting. If there is one thing I look for in my food it is a clear lead free label. Thankfully my 6 mottled green beauties were individually wrapped so I get to save the other 5 to share with others.
On their reputation alone I decided I was going to set myself up with some chasers for this one. I slit one of the packages open and was greeted with a strong ammonia scent, which was not a good sign.Green eggs and ham are one thing, green eggs that smell like cat urine are a whole different animal. Hopefully some pickled ginger and kimchi would do the trick if needed.
One positive note, the egg peeled very easily. If you are going to eat a stinky green egg at the very least it should be easy to get to. Very little is more frustrating than a hard boiled egg that wont peel. From my research I knew that the yolk of this egg would be creamy and soft, even still I figured my handy dandy egg slicer would be the right tool for the job. I had to cut slowly to be sure I didn’t mangle the egg but it worked pretty well.
The yolk was very soft and dripped in a way I wasn’t very happy about. Don’t get me wrong, I like my egg yolks runny, a good poached, over easy, soft boiled,or sunny side up egg, all of those are good in my book. I think the contrast of expectations you might have for a hard boiled egg and the color and texture of this egg are so jarring it really adds to the challenege. I was struggling to get over it even before I put a piece in my mouth. I figured this one would need some action shots. I went for the strangely translucent white first. The smell was really strong and made it tough to throw it down.
Yeah that looks sums it up. Honestly it was the scent more than the taste, it tasted like a hard boiled egg, until you breathe that is. I choked that piece down and tried to convince myself that it wasn’t so bad. On to another piece with some yolk, this was the test I really needed to take.
It was that bad. I was trying to move my head away from the taste and smell that were in my assaulting me. Again if I focused for a moment and really tried to taste it, there was a pretty good rich yolk texture and egg flavor but the wafting scent of ammonia in my nostrils was more than I was willing to put up with in order to enjoy an egg. I really wanted to like century eggs so I could wear my enjoyment of them as some kind of culinary badge of honor. Sadly I won’t be pinning that badge to my sash. While there is some interesting egg texture and flavor to be found in a century egg I can’t see the need to eat them. Century eggs are a “you don’t have too” item for sure.