Posts tagged ‘Philippines ‘

Grossest foods in the world….cont’d

#9 Kopi Luwak, or Kopi Alamid

(also known as cat poop coffee)

Nature plays a big hand when developing distinct flavors in coffee—volcanic soils of Hawaii for Kona coffee, or Jamaica’s foggy mountains for Jamaican Blue Reserve, are some examples. In the Philippines, Mother Nature’s #2, gives Kopi Luwak its special taste.

Kopi Luwak is made from coffee beans partially digested by Asian Palm civets, a type of cat/weasel. After civets eat the coffee cherries, a special enzyme exclusive to their stomach ferments the coffee beans which accounts for the subtle caramel flavor and aroma of the brew. Once the civet goes #2, the beans are collected from the droppings, and are then washed, roasted, and ground into the one of the world’s most expensive coffees running anywhere from $100-$600 a pound.

There are different theories for the history of kopi luwak, the most popular being native farmers, denied a taste of the delicious coffee they worked so hard to harvest, resorted to another way of collecting the beans for personal use. I, on the other hand, have a much more Filipino, albeit practical, theory. I like to think a farmer’s grandmother, after seeing the civets eat so much of the coffee fruit, tsked, “sayang naman” (what a waste!) and went about salvaging the coffee beans from the poop.

I am fortunate enough to have my own stash of this caffeinated cat poop. Knowing my love of coffee, my aunt and uncle brought me several jars as a gift from Manila. During a family gathering, I brewed a small pot of kopi luwak, and passed out tiny half espresso servings to everyone. (Hey, it’s expensive). Maybe it was the way I prepared it, drip method as opposed to the recommended French press, but I didn’t savor anything caramel-y about it. It just tasted and smelled, thank goodness, like regular coffee.

However, my cousin Noni did meow after the first sip—does that mean anything?


1 comment March 6, 2011

It tastes like chicken.

 I ran into a list of the top ten grossest foods available in the world, as compiled by, and was tickled (or should I be offended) that #8 and #9 are found in the Philippines. My fellow Filipinos probably already know which foods I’m referencing, but let me get my non-Flip friends up to speed on these two delicacies….



#8 BALUT. A street food, balut can be purchased in the Philippines from vendors singing out “balut!” “balut!” while carrying woven baskets filled with these duck eggs. There are no such vendors found in the United States, so I’m not even sure where to buy balut. But every so often, usually during a party, my Uncle Deo will bring some in a heavy brown paper bag, along with a bottle of Chivas.

These boiled, fertilized eggs seem harmless enough…until you crack one open. Inside, nestled in its eggshell, is an embryonic chick. With eyes. And a beak. And if you’re (un)lucky, feathers. Some prefer to season their balut with salt or a chili vinegar. There is also an established method to consuming a balut. First you slurp the embryonic juices—the louder the better. Then you eat the chick, chewing and cracking bones the whole way.  Afterwards you throw the shells into a pile, as your friends cheer you on.

Why would anyone eat this? Because it’s delicious, or so I’m told. Many Filipino men swear eating balut improves their vim and vigor; a kind of Viagra protein. My kids and I do not eat balut. We like our eggs unfertilized, refrigerated, and arranged in neat cardboard cartons from the local supermarket. My husband, on the other hand, loves balut. Does he see a change in his virility? He’s never been able to test this theory since I don’t let him come near me at the first sound of embryonic juice slurp. I also make him brush his teeth, floss, and gargle with mouthwash. Not the flavored kind, either—we’re talking industrial strength blue Listerine.

Balut = ducky abortion. It’s just gross.


I’ll tell you about #9 in tomorrow’s post. But here’s a hint: it comes in one way, and then out another. Can you guess what it is?

3 comments March 5, 2011

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6 other followers

balut Bathroom Bean beef stew recipe bitsy boots anson-roa cakes cat poop cell phone Child Civet Coffee college cooking mama cookware decorate dessert donny osmond DVD Easter easy Entertainment family Father Filipino Filipinos food gilligan's island hasbro Hawaii HBO Home Home and Garden Home Depot housewife Jamaica justin bieber Kate Winslet kenner Kopi Alamid KopiLuwak LeCreuset Lent life Manila Mildred Pierce Mobile phone Mother Mother Nature names neighbors Netflix Parent parenting Peanut Gallery Philippines Pink RedBox Rice sacrifice save the pink bathrooms schumck Science and Technology Shopping Sink stay at home mom supermom texting Tile Toilet too boots in the city United States viagra video vigor