Preserved Eggs

Preserved Eggs

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Free Member  (2012)

[ wadw, ZH, China ]

Business Type:  Business Service

Supplier has 10 products

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Product Description

Known also as century egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg or thousand-year-old egg, the preserved egg is a Chinese delicacy used in many traditional dishes. It is considered a delicacy in China, where the recipe originated thousands of years ago. They are known for an exceptionally strong taste and odor, which is reminiscent of sulfur or ammonia.

Traditional Method
Century eggs remain popular in China and other Asian countries, the traditional method of preservation process is still used by many people. Fresh duck, chicken or quail eggs become Century Eggs after weeks, sometimes months of preservation in a mixture of clay, ash, lime, salt and rice. The process of "cooking" Century Eggs is believed to date back 600 years, when someone apparently found some old eggs preserved in a pool of slaked lime. Upon tasting them, he decided to produce some more, but this time with some added salt.

Industrial Process
While some still prepare the eggs in the traditional method, the preparation process has changed with new technology. Many companies who sell the eggs pre-packaged soak them in salt brine, sodium carbonate and calcium hydroxide. Using this method, a century egg can be prepared in less than two weeks, as opposed to a month or more. However, this may lead to concerns of lead poisoning and other health problems.

After the preservation process is complete, the shell of the egg is speckled, giving it an aged appearance that may have given it is name. When the egg is cracked open more drastic change are become apparent. The white has changed from clear to a dark brown color and is gelatinous in texture. The most notable change though is the in egg yolk. Instead of a bright yellow, it is dark-green/black and has the texture of thick cream or yogurt. It’s the alkaline that raises the ph of the egg from 9 to 12 or more and gives it a strong smell of ammonia and sulfur. Most of the strong smell and taste of the comes from the yolk, which absorbs more of the special fermenting solution during the preservation process.

In America, the egg's off-putting appearance and strong taste made them a popular food of choice for shock game shows that forced contestants to eat gross foods. In China, however they are considered a fine delicacy and are often served as appetizers at weddings and other parties. These eggs may be mixed together with traditional eggs, ground up and used as a topping, or on slices like an orange. They are also found in soups, porridge, omelets and just about any other dish where you might find typical eggs.

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