Balut is a fertilized duck egg embryo that is hard-boiled and eaten from the shell. The fertilized egg is allowed to develop from 16 to 21 days before it is cooked. The embryo by that time already has complete duck parts, such as eyes, beaks, and light feathers. Balut is usually sold at sun down, perhaps because it is easier to swallow in the dark or perhaps because it is believed to be an aphrodisiac. Filipino men take balut especially with alcoholic drinks and since it provides them with energy, they believe it increases their virility. Whereas before, balut is considered only as a street food, now you can find them served in restaurants as gourmet food.
Dinuguan is a dark stew made from pig’s blood and pork offals, such as kidneys, intestines, heart. It also includes pork ears, and snout. These ingredients are cooked with vinegar, garlic, onions, and chili. The name is from the word “dugo” which means blood. Dinuguan complements well with rice but it is more often paired with puto, steamed rice cake. Black pudding is a good alternative to fresh pig’s blood, and some choice pork cuts instead of pork offals can be used. It tastes the same, if not better.
Bihod is the fish eggs or roe of tuna. It is the Filipino version of caviar. It has some kind of a grainy texture. It can be prepared so many ways, such as grilled bihod with vinegar and chili, adobong bihod, sinigang na bihod, or sizzling bihod.
Bagaybay is the tuna’s gonads or sperm sacs. The locals call fish sperm as Bagaybay. Grilling is the usual preparation for Bagaybay but some restaurants have turned it into a gastronomical treat, such as the Sizzling Bagaybay.
Bopis is a spicy dish which may have Spanish origin. This dish is made from pig’s heart and lungs chopped into little cubes and cooked in vinegar, chili, and garlic. It takes skill to prepare this dish because when you do not know how, the dish will be overpowered by the smell of the pig’s lungs. Bopis can be cooked dry or with sauce. It is often served as a “pulutan” for alcoholic drinks or cold beer.
Papaitan is a soup dish which is popular in the Ilocos Region. It is made from goat or cow innards. The name Papaitan comes from the word “pait” which means bitter. The dish has a greenish color and a bitter taste which comes from the goat’s bile added to the soup to complete its flavor.
The main ingredients of this dish are pig’s brain and liver cooked with salt, chili, and other spices. They are cooked until the sauce thickens. The dish is done once it starts to bubble. That is how the dish got its name Tuslob-Buwa which means “dipping bubble”. This dish is usually paired with puso, rice wrapped and boiled in a casing of woven coconut leaves. One eats this dish by taking a piece of rice, dipping it in the bubbly gravy before putting it in the mouth. You can find this popular treat in Cebu.
8. Soup No. 5
Soup No. 5 is a soup made from bull’s penis and testicles. The dish has originated from the Philippines. It got its name when some restaurant owners have listed their 4 soups as chicken, pork, beef, and seafood but the 5th soup can’t be named “bull testes” soup. So they have come up with the name Soup No. 5. The soup has become popular because it is believed to have aphrodisiac properties. Filipino men believe that this soup can give them the virility of a bull.
A delicacy that is popular in the island of Palawan. Tamilok is a woodworm that is collected from the trunks of mangroves. They bore into mangroves and other wooden structures, thus, acquiring the name “termites of the sea.” They are usually eaten raw with vinegar and sometimes chili as sauce. Tamilok kinilaw is also very popular, and so is the crispy fried tamilok. The lovers of this dish say that the slimy tamilok tastes like oysters. It’s rich in protein and believed to be an aphrodisiac.
Camaro are field crickets which are popular in the province of Pampanga. They are prepared in various ways, such as fried, adobong camaro, or simmered with soy sauce and vinegar. Fried camaro are crunchy and juicy. Some of those who have tried the dish say that it tastes like stir friend shrimp with a hint of bitterness and saltiness.
© 2020 Norma
Norma (author) on February 23, 2020:
How about Camaro and Tamilok?
Mario on February 21, 2020:
Wow...i've tried balut, bopis, dinuguan, papaitan, bagaybay and bihod. You should try it...it's yummy...