For our Eat This series, we try balut, a traditional Filipino dish consisting of a partially-developed duck embryo, boiled while still in the shell.
The dish may look shocking to unfamiliar eyes -- restauranteur Nicole Ponseca compares the embryo to a baby E.T.
"I've received some comments saying 'how dare you' or 'that's disgusting.' It can be hurtful because it's so ingrained in our culture," said Ponseca. "I don't go around saying how dare you eat hot dogs."
Balut is served at Jeepney, one of two Filipino restaurants in Manhattan that Ponseca owns. Balut is eaten in steps: you crack the egg, drink the broth that fills the top, and then eat the custardy yolk and soft embryo that remains once you fully peel the egg.
Jeepney is one of just a handful of restaurants in New York City serving Filipino food. They serve both traditional Filipino dishes as well as Filipino takes on other cuisines. They are located at 201 1st Avenue in Manhattan's East Village.