The Hundred Year (Century) Egg

The Century Egg

What if I told you that one of China’s rarest food delicacies has been rotting in the ground for one hundred years? Well, not rotting, exactly, but aging — aging to one-of-a-kind perfection. …And not for a hundred years either, but just for a couple of months. I would like to introduce you to the hundred-year-old egg, otherwise known as “The Century Egg.”

This epicurean delight is found on high-end Dim Sum revolvers in China, cut into pieces and served in traditional dishes, or eaten all alone. The yolk turns black and becomes powdery—the white, becomes a creamy and delicious gelatinous brown jelly. The alkaline flavors inherent from the earth sing. Only when a hen or duck egg is aged this long and the standard consistency is altered so greatly that it becomes an entirely different food thing, that you know you are eating something truly, very special.

The preparation is simple, (for seasoned, century egg-wielding experts, that is.) The egg is covered in clay, ash, salt, and rice husks and buried for months beneath the earth. The shell acts as a protective barrier from the elements of the earth that enfolds it. When unearthed and de-shelled, it is ready to eat. It never spoils. It is a delicacy. It is a black, aged egg. Another one of China’s divine culinary wonders.

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Categories: Food + Drink, History + Legends, On a fork, Stories

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