Following tradition, the citizens of Dongyang City, located in the center of China’s Zhejiang Province have prepared the delicacy known abroad as “virgin boy eggs” again this year. Sold by shops and local vendors across the city, the eggs are said to be particularly sour this year, making them extra delicious.
Already a popular spring food, Dongyang City residents are apparently quite happy with this years product, which is nothing more than normal eggs boiled (twice) in young boys’ urine. It make for a grand “wee” time!
Already widely reported on in years past, this unique culinary practice really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone with an Internet connection. While it might not quite be in the range of the typical Western palette, virgin boy eggs have seemingly been produced in Dongyang City for centuries and are loved by many in the city. They are also said to have a number of positive health benefits, like giving one energy, purifying one’s blood or alleviating fevers.
The urine used to boil the eggs comes from young boys–generally all 10 years old or younger–who are healthy. Boys who have colds or other illnesses are not allowed to urinate into the pee collection buckets set at local schools, presumably to ensure the eggs’ “purity.” And it’s not enough to simply boil the eggs in urine either–they’re actually put through the process twice, first with shells and then again with their shells cracked open. Hey, if you going to make pee-soaked eggs, you might as well do right!
According to recent reports by those who tried this year’s crop of virgin boy eggs, the delicacy is particularly sour, making them especially tasty. No word on the cause of the extra sourness, but we suppose that there are some things you simply shouldn’t question…
Sold by street vendors who take great care to keep them at just the right temperature, the eggs are typically priced around 1.50 yuan (about US$0.24); double the usual cost of a prepared egg.
In 2008, virgin boy eggs were even designated an intangible cultural asset by Dongyang City, so hopefully we’ll see it inscribed by UNESCO in the coming years, taking a place alongside washoku, traditional Japanese food, and kimjang, the process of making of kimchi in South Korea.
Of course, not everyone in Dongyang City is on board with the unique food, with some residents and doctors skeptical of the health benefits. A few doctors have even expressed concerns about how sanitary the process is. Adding to this, the smell is, as you might expect, quite strong. Though that’s how some people feel about fish markets and slaughterhouses, so we’re not about to start judging.
After all, they can’t be too much worse than eating whatever it is that goes into Rocky Mountain oysters or McNuggets.
And for all of our Chinese-speaking readers, here’s a Chinese news report on the unique delicacy. Even the anchorwoman looks a bit perplexed by the food.