A seven-week to three-month-old egg with a distinctly unappetizing (to some) green center is a delicacy in China and has been for over 500 years, as scientists date the practice back to the Ming Dynasty. The food’s name? Century egg, though it also goes by monikers like hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, and millennium egg.
The delicacy is made by cooling a vat of strong black tea, salt, lime, and freshly burned wood ash overnight, then adding duck, quail, or chicken eggs. The eggs are soaked for anywhere from seven weeks to three months.
The texture of the eggs is often described as being creamy and velvety. Some fans say that getting past the appearance is the most difficult part in learning to enjoy this food.
Century eggs are eaten for breakfast, as a snack, or with dinner, and they’re also often baked into pastries. Some proponents of the delicacy pair it with wine or Champagne. However, though the older generations and curious travelers favor it, China’s younger generation has become wary of the snack due to their distaste for preserved and fermented dishes.
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