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howard | Jan 24, 2002 08:03 PM

Earlier postings on balut have whetted my appetite (or, at lest, my curiosity), but before I trundle myself down to the Philipine grocery stores on 14th street and actually lay my money down, I have a couple of questions for you balut-eaters out there:

a) What's the texture..soft or firm?

b) when purchased, is it read-to-eat, or does it require further preparation? Slice it or eat it in one mouthful? Eat it out of the shell, bake it in a nice balut casserole with perhaps spinach and potatoes? Or maybe just serve it in a delicate puff-paste vol-au-vent? Or what?

c) My hunch would be to just douse it in Thai sweet chili sauce, which would make just about anything...ANYthing - edible. But, as I say, I'd like some guidance from someone more experienced in this particular food-form than me.

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