It’s Halloween, and while other bloggers are bringing you pretty cakes that look like candy corn and clever spooky vegetables trays, I thought I would show you some food that is quite literally frightening.


Century Eggs - 100 Year Eggs


One of my chinese students, Gigi, recommended Century Eggs to me after I (perhaps mistakenly?) asked her what foods she would recommend from my favorite asian grocery, Lotus.

These aren’t your average eggs. Century eggs, pidan eggs, or hundred-year-eggs, are cured through a process by which the pH of the egg is increased. This process, not only preserves the egg, but transforms the flavor, odor, texture, and most notably color.



Needless to say, the other worldly colors and an odor of strong ammonia make these eggs fairly unappetizing for the average American. I have to admit that although I’ve long considered myself an adventurous eater, even I was put off by the prospect.

But Gigi was persistent. She told me how delicious the eggs are, and how much she hoped I could get past the look of them. She argued that it’s good to experience new things, and that these experiences are what bring us joy and happiness in life.

I imagined myself trying to convince someone to try the moldy glandular secretions of cows (blue cheese) or the sweet regurgitations of bees (honey) or the fleshy spore bearing body of a fungus (mushrooms).



In the end I knew that Gigi was right. At least for me, new experiences are what make life worth living, so I drove to the strip district and bought a package of Century Eggs, which were surprising inexpensive (about $2.30 for a package of 6 cured duck eggs). Although, it took me a few more days of mental preparation, I eventually swallowed my fear (quite literally in this case), and tasted them.

Honestly, it kind of just tasted like an egg.  The flavor reminds me a lot of hard boiled eggs – perhaps a little more nuanced, and the texture of the yolk is smoother and creamier. Hard boiled eggs are not my favorite food, so in the end neither are these, but I would certainly eat them again if they were served to me.  In fact, Taste of Hong Kong’s recipe for Congee with Salted Pork and Century Egg looks pretty heavenly.


Happy Halloween! What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever eaten?

One Response to Frightening Food – Century Eggs

  1. Cathie says:

    But I’d be willing to bet you did not get Dr. Man to try these :-)!

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