(Not) Eating The Unborn
Rebecca slaughtered chickens and brought me these orange orbs as a gift. To me they’re terribly exotic, and I do mean terribly. They glisten all golden, a vivid red-orange color that I can’t explain, but it somehow creeps me out. They’re a little firm, unexpectedly. They’re unborn eggs. They don’t have a white, they don’t have a shell, they were never laid, they seem like an awfully intimate part of a chicken. I, who don’t shrink from eating tripe, chicken feet, or snails, am slightly terrified by these eggs.
I searched and asked, and aside from one Filipino adobo dish and an Indian curry, the universal answer to the “how to eat the unborn” question seemed to be this: drop them in a beautiful chicken soup. People whose grandmothers came from Eastern Europe have fond memories of chasing these little orbs around their childhood soup bowls. Some say they’re creamy, some say they’re rubbery, but they all remember them fondly.
Serendipitously, I had been planning to make chicken soup tonight anyway, since I had a new recipe I wanted to try. It’s the kind of grey, chilly weather when nothing sounds as good as soup, unless, possibly, it’s soup with unborn eggs. I had visions of a transcendental super-soup supper. But then, reality intervened.
Fifteen dollars worth of organic chicken wings and a recipe from a well-known blog that promised a life-changing broth yielded the most insipid chicken broth I’ve ever made or tasted in my whole entire life. The egglets turned out to be surrounded by a membrane that turned greyish upon cooking and had to be peeled off with one’s fingers, right there in the bowl. The flavor of the eggs themselves was nonexistent, the texture unappealing, the whole gestalt was beurk, as the French are wont to say. Five bites into supper I felt inspired to dump my entire bowl into the compost, which I summarily did. I can’t remember the last time I made something that was only marginally edible, but apparently it can happen, even to me.
The whole affair was a disgrace and a discouragement and left us with no dinner into the bargain. Maybe you had to have eaten them as a child. Maybe the unborn just need to be relegated to the same place as the undead – far, far from me. They made a pretty picture, though.
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