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Urine-Soaked Eggs: A Spring Delicacy in China

You really don't want to know what's going on here
You really don't want to know what's going on here
Qianjiang Evening Post

How can we put this delicately? We can't. The fact of the matter is, in the Chinese city of Dongyang, springtime is the time to eat "virgin boy eggs" -- hard-boiled eggs marinated and simmered in urine, according to Reuters.

Virgin boy urine, to be precise. Preferably from lads under the age of 10.

Buckets of snotty little boys' urine are collected from primary schools. It takes almost an entire day to make the springtime treat, beginning with soaking and then boiling raw eggs in a pot of urine. After they are hard-boiled, the shells of the eggs are cracked and they continue to simmer in urine for hours. To many, it is the (foul) smell of spring.

"The scent of these eggs being cooked in pots of urine is unmistakable as people pass the many street vendors in Dongyang who sell it, claiming it has remarkable health properties," according to Reuters. Those health benefits are said to include decreasing body heat, promoting better blood circulation, increasing energy and boosting vitality.

However, Chinese medical experts give mixed reviews about the health benefits of the practice, with some warning about sanitary issues surrounding the use of urine to cook the eggs, Reuters reports. Because, as we might have mentioned, the eggs are soaked in pee.

Each egg goes for 1.50 yuan (24 cents), a little more than twice the price of a regular boiled egg. The eggs are mostly sold at street stalls--where they apparently sell like hot cakes--but local residents are also known to personally collect boys' urine from nearby schools to cook the delicacy in their homes. If you've got your own boy at home, bonus!

The popularity of the treat has led the local government to list "virgin boy eggs" as an intangible cultural heritage.

"It's so delicious that I can eat 10 eggs a day," a woman surnamed Liu told the Shanghai Daily. "I am addicted."

On the other side of the fence, a Mr. Li told the Qianjiang Evening Post: "The smell kills me. I feel like throwing up at the thought of it."

Makes Grandma's Easter lamb roast seem not quite so awful, doesn't it?


Follow Samantha Bonar @samanthabonar.


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