After my first disastrous tasting of century eggs I received a lot of feedback. Outside of the people who were revolted, there was a large group of people who thought I either got a bad egg or that I was just eating it wrong.
To the latter point, I say bah. If you have to bury an item in other things in order to make it palatable, then I see no point in eating it. When I am tasting things I want to try them in the closest possible form to raw. On the other hand, the folks who looked at the pictures, read the description,and decided I might have received a bad egg made a more compelling case for a retest.
Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more.
I made sure to get a new brand, from a new store, in the hopes of eliminating another bad egg tasting. These were individually wrapped, but not shrink wrapped like the last batch. I opened a bag, took a whiff, and was greeted with my old friend ammonia. I almost stopped the tasting right then. The terrible ammonia odor and taste was really the death knell for the previous tasting. Instead I soldiered on.
I peeled it and there it was, in all it’s inky black glory. All the while the smell of a dirty litter box kept making it’s way into my nose. Why was I doing this again? I tried to use my egg slicer again and it would not cut through. I was applying a good amount of pressure it it was just squeezing the egg. The look of terror on my wife’s face as she watched it bulge and warp, threatening to burst, was enough to make me go grab the knife. I cut up a few slices
and I was pleasantly surprised. The yolk did not ooze out like the last one. Maybe there was something to the bad egg theory after all. I decided to break my own rule for this tasting and prepared a batch of congee to try my century egg in.
I chopped up a chunk of egg, sprinkled it into my congee along with some dried shrimp, and hoped for the best. The first bite was just straight egg and congee.
I have to be honest, it was pretty good. No ammonia in the taste at all, just an earthy funkiness like shitake mushrooms sometimes have. The “white” of the egg doesn’t have a very good texture, but the yolk was creamy and smooth. I tried another bite to be sure that the fumes hadn’t knocked me into a dream state. Same results as the first, I dare say I kind of liked it. The last test was a piece all on it’s own
Oh hell, that was actually pretty tasty too. The texture was still off-putting but the flavor was good. Without the strong ammonia scent I was able to appreciate the rich, earthy intensity of the yolk.
I don’t know that I am going eat the other 5 in my fridge but I have to recant my original ranking and give century eggs a “What the heck, try it”