Day three in Chiang Mai was a little less adventurous and a little more lazy. We started the day with our favorite market and our favorite coffee lady. More steamed eggs and sticky rice and more fruit. The perfect start to a day that would later hold the most terribly disgusting thing that I have EVER put in my mouth…and that is saying a lot considering some of my Africa adventures.
The rest of the day, we walked around Chiang Mai…up to a street market, through Chiang Mai’s version of China Town and up and down the beautiful river street…on the way back to our hotel to clean up and check out to head back to Bangkok and then on to Phnom Penh, Cambodia…I stumbled across the “century egg.” Usually, I wouldn’t have given this a second look- but I am really strong headed, and before we came on this trip I decided that I would try the”thousand year old egg” if I saw one. On a back street, in a tiny little house, I saw this bright pink “delicacy” staring me in the face and knew that my time had come…I had to try the egg.
Here is a little blurb from wikipedia about the eggs: Century eggs are made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt,lime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing. Through the process, the yolk becomes a dark green and creamy with a smell ofodor of sulphur and ammonia, while the white becomes a dark brown, transparent jelly with little flavor. The transforming agent in the century egg is its alkaline material, which gradually raises the pH of the egg to around 9, 12, or more during the curing process. This chemical process breaks down some of the complex, flavorless proteins and fats, which produces a variety of smaller flavorful compounds.
The eggs are left underground for 100 days, the shell turns bright pink from the chemical reactions, and the eggs are ready to be eaten. According to the sweet lady I bought mine from “all you need is a little soy sauce.”
So, I bought one, peeled it, and was instantly assaulted by a stink like no other…seriously I can’t even describe it…but I decided to press on (how often do you get to eat congealed brown and blue eggs anyways!?) I took a little bite of what used to be the white (now clear brown) and honestly, it wasn’t too bad. So, I pulled my poor sweet husband in to my little taste adventure…I assured him it wasn’t as bad as it looked and gave him half. We then proceeded to take a bite all the way through, into the heart of the matter…the black and blue completely putrid yolk. I can NOT describe to you the instant vomit reflex that I was holding back. I didn’t want to offend the sweet lady…so somehow I said “YUM, thank you!” and Gavin and I ran off, around the corner and gagged, and spit and laughed so hard our stomach’s hurt because when we opened our mouths, our teeth were stained with a nasty blue green film. Luckily, our saving grace was just around the corner…fresh squeezed passion fruit juice. We bought one and chugged it down…then we found a diet coke and chugged it too…then we bought wasabi peas in one last ditch effort to get the taste out of our mouths…and it worked!!
After the trauma, we headed back to the hotel, packed our back packs and made the 3 mile trek to the train station for our night train back to Bangkok. (I took pictures of the train…but recently lost my cell phone so they got lost too!) The train ride was pretty cool…and the walk to the station gave me a very deep respect for mountain climbers that drag big bags up the side of a mountain…hold cow, my butt and legs burned like the dickens the next day!