Now that I'm home again, there has been a decided shift in the questions people ask me about my project. I will probably have to set up a new FAQ page to accommodate this shift. In the meantime I can tell you that besides "how was the trip," which is open-ended enough to be nearly impossible for me to answer satisfactorily, one of the most common questions I get is "what was the weirdest thing you ate." Now I have already covered my thoughts about calling foods "weird" or "bizarre" ina previous post。简而言之,我不喜欢它 - 它只是太武断而且以文化为中心。据说,它仍然很容易命名我在中国吃的最奇怪的事情。这是:

That may look like an ordinary hard-boiled egg, and in many ways it is. There is just one key exception: this egg is cooked在年轻男孩的尿液中。Preferably under the age of ten (because urine from an eleven-year-old would just be gross). This delicacy is known by various names, the most descriptive of which is 童子尿煮鸡蛋 (tong zi sui zhu ji dan), or "boy urine cooked egg." This is often abbreviated to just 童子蛋 (tong zi dan), or "boy egg." Some of you may have already heard about these boy eggs because路透社最近做了一个故事about them that made the rounds on the Internet back in March and April. One thing that was missing from the Reuters story, though, was a personal taste test. That, of course, is where I come in.


如果不献给我的街头食品项目,我就没有,所以我尽职尽责地抑制了我大脑的一部分,这提醒我这些鸡蛋已经煮熟了在尿液中和bought one for 1 yuan. After finding a suitable spot to sit and eat, I got down to business. On the outside, as you saw above, it looked just like a normal egg, albeit with a faint urine smell. Once shelled, however, it's a different story.

That marbleized look you see is the result of the cooking method--after boiling in the urine long enough to become solid, the eggshells are cracked a bit to allow the urine to soak into the egg itself during the remainder of the boiling. Those lines on the egg are where the cracks were in the shell. Actually, this shelled egg doesn't look terribly different from the茶蛋您可以找到中国各地。当然,在那里的关键差异是茶蛋在茶中煮熟而不是the urine of young boys。I can't emphasize that point enough--that this is an egg cooked in urine. Now, while the look of the boy egg is fairly similar to the tea egg, there are several important sensory differences. The most notable are the way it smells and feels. Have you ever changed the bed sheets for a child who wet the bed at night? If so, you may recall the way that the air is heavy with the odor of stale urine and that your fingers feel a bit slimy after touching the soiled linens. Throw in the smell of egg for good measure, and that's exactly what it is like to hold a boy egg, which, I remind you, is intended for human consumption. This slimy, rubbery ovoid that smells like stale urine and egg is meant to be eaten.

所以,随着初步检查完成,是时候吃男孩鸡蛋了。再次抑制我大脑的一部分,这些部分正在提醒我关于整个“在尿液中煮熟的东西”的东西,我潜入了。结果?biwei体育app令人惊讶的是,这不是那么糟糕。事实上,它没有与我在中国吃的其他硬鸡蛋大大不同的味道。尿液的强气味并没有转化为强烈的味道,奇怪。这并不是说它不在那里 - 这只是非常温和。就像中国最艰苦的鸡蛋一样,白人(如果你可以称之为)咸(虽然男孩鸡蛋中​​的咸味来自不同的来源......)和橡皮(它们倾向于在中国烹饪更长的鸡蛋比我们在美国的工作),而yolk像我吃过的所有其他煮熟的蛋黄一样品尝。里面看起来就像你想象的那样。

Two or three bites and it's gone. So that's that.

The foremost question in your minds, I suspect, is "why would anybody eat this?" The short answer is that it's tradition. Tradition is a powerful force in China, and in Dongyang these boy eggs traditional. The longer answer is that Chinese traditional medicine values the urine from virgin boys as a good preventative measure against joint pain and other ailments. Why it has to be boys and why they have to be virgins, I don't know. Many people in Dongyang eat these by the dozen in the springtime. That's not to say that everybody likes them, of course. Some Dongyangers find the whole idea repulsive. Also, it's worth noting that anytime I mentioned the boy eggs to a native Chinese person in中国的其他任何部分他们的整个想法非常繁重。所以我警告你反对思考,这是中国的所有人所做的。就像吃狗或猫一样,有些人这样做是真的,但它并非无处不在,它被大部分人口都被认为是粗糙的。

你可能要问的另一个问题是“他们在哪里得到尿?”轻松回答:当地学校。正如你所看到的那样this great 2011 articlefrom the Ministry of Tofu, vendors provide buckets to schools and encourage the boys to use those rather than the toilets.


我承认鸡蛋吃完我的男孩,我不能help but look at every school-age boy I passed on the street and wonder whether or not he contributed to my lunch.


So those are the boy eggs. I wouldn't label them a must-try street food in China. They are difficult to find (Dongyang isn't exactly on the tourist trail...there isn't even a train station) and aren't amazingly tasty or anything like that. They are however, extremely unique (remember: these are eggs在尿液中煮熟), so if you're the type that likes to track down the most unusual foods you can, it might be time to plan a pilgrimage to Dongyang. For the rest of you, I suspect reading about it here was more than enough. I'm happy to oblige.