Would you, could you eat these eggs from Owakudani?
From a holiday my friend did come, with gifts from afar, symbols of her fun.
“Try these,” she said with a devilish grin. And this, ladies and gentlemen is where our story begins…
With a puzzled look I scanned the items.
“It’s black eggs and ham,” she said, “I’m sure you’ll like them.”
I replied, “But I do not like black eggs and ham, except when burnt by my cheap-ass pan.”
“Try them, try them and you may, extend your life by seven years they say.”
Indeed, for eating black eggs from Owakudani, it is written: seven years is added to the life of human or kitten.
▼ Owakudani is an area of high volcanic activity in Kanagawa Prefecture. It is accessible only by a ski-lift-like ropeway or a one-kilometer hike. Infrastructure is difficult to build due to the instability of the land.
These eggs, you see, are boiled in volcanic gas and iron dark as oil. It forms iron sulfate inside the shell, which makes the egg look black and smell.
They are usually eaten fresh each day, but the extra ones are taken away.
Then they’re smoked to make them last much longer, it’s also proven by science to make them taste much stronger!
Next I looked at the other present before me, “And what’s this here? A pack of salami?”
“Well, not quite but it comes from Susami. That’s in Wakayama pretty close to Shirahama, if you’re going to take a trip better pack your pyjamas.
Image: Wikipedia/Kansai explorer
Now this might all sound like a snore, until you find out that they cook wild boar! It may not be pig but the difference is not big. I trust that once you try boar, you’ll be begging for more!”
“Well that’s enough explanation for me. After all I guess it’s still normal salami. But if I call it “ham” would it bother anybody? It would be a shame for semantics to spoil the parody.”
“Not at all. Not at all, my good man! No go on and eat your black eggs and ham!”
“I will. I will, but not today. I’ll take these back to the place I stay.”
The black eggs and ham for weeks they did sit, in my fridge until my wife had a fit.
No one would eat them, not me nor her, until she threatened to call a divorce lawyer: “I will not eat them in a boat. I will not eat them with a goat. You better eat them. Time is short, before I bring us both into court.”
With my marriage at stake I grabbed a plate, and on it the black eggs and ham did wait.
A smokey smell from the eggs did emerge, but they were soft and moist like a fresh sea urchin.
I cut into an egg and sure enough, it all was black except the yellow stuff.
I nervously took a first bite, but soon I learned there was no need for fright!
At first, I thought my friend had been pulling my leg, but this actually tasted better than a normal egg! Aside from a smokiness I couldn’t detect a single bad taste nor any defect. And best of all, if the superstition’s true, I’ve just extended my life to the age of 52!
Now it was time for the black ham part of this journey, and I had to hurry up as my wife was talking to her attorney.
Once again the color was not one to fear, it tasted just like pork, a meat I hold dear. In colors of red and brown I also could eat this, but I left them out of the photos so as not to screw with the premise.
In the end, I would eat this here or there or anywhere. And if you too would like to try black eggs and ham, well get yourself on over to Japan. And if you don’t like me calling sausage “ham,” then rest assured that I don’t give a damn.
Related: Owakudani Kuro Tamago
Photos: SoraNews24 (unless otherwise noted)