Is “Pidan” the Most Disgusting Food in the World? Chinese People Would Say No!

While the Chinese consider “皮蛋 (pídàn),” commonly known as “preserved egg,” “century egg,” “hundred-year egg,” “thousand-year-old egg,” and “millennium egg” in English, a special delicacy, many foreigners find its taste unappealing.

Let’s see how some foreigners respond to their first taste of “皮蛋(pídàn)!”

The video is pretty funny but it obviously shows differences between the food culture in China and the West.

In China, “皮蛋(pídàn),” also called “松花蛋(sōnghuādàn)” for its beautiful, tiny flower pattern like ice crystals, is popular among the Chinese as a pungent appetizer; the Chinese tend to enjoy its special flavor.

It also commonly appears in “凉拌菜(liángbàncài) a cold vegetable dish with sauce,” which is a kind of Chinese salad.

But to most foreigners, “皮蛋(pídàn)” not only looks weird, but also has a pungent smell.

Notably, this blackened delicacy even claims the top spot on the list of “The Most ‘Revolting’ Food I’ve Had Is…” compiled by CNN iReport.

However, the CNN report started up a great century egg debate from people who love “皮蛋(pídàn).”

They argue that “皮蛋(pídàn)” has long been considered a remarkable invention by the Chinese, as the cholesterol content of a fresh duck egg decreases by more than 20% when preserved as “皮蛋(pídàn).”

What’s more, its broken down proteins and lipids are easier for the body to absorb.

It may be unbelievable to foreigners, but to many Chinese, “皮蛋(pídàn)” does taste refreshing and smells savory and smooth.

They also use “皮蛋(pídàn)” as the main ingredient in many traditional dishes, including “皮蛋瘦肉粥(pídàn shòuròu zhōu)” (Minced pork porridge with preserved egg), “皮蛋拌豆腐(pídàn bàn dòufu)” (Tofu tossed with preserved egg), “皮蛋鱼片汤(pídàn yúpiàn tāng)” (Preserved egg and fish soup), and more.

It’s interesting to note that “皮蛋瘦肉粥(pídàn shòuròu zhōu)” (Minced pork porridge with preserved egg) is one of the most popular items at KFC in China.

So, perhaps the reason foreigners can’t seem to warm up to it is because they aren’t eating it in the right recipe.

In dietary therapy, people utilize ‘皮蛋(pídàn)’ to address various health concerns.

According to Chinese medicine, food can be classified into four types according to the four properties in Chinese medicine: cold, hot, warm and cool. Believers think that “皮蛋(pídàn)” possesses cooling properties with a pungent aroma, assisting in dissipating body heat, alleviating toothaches, and addressing acne concerns.

Now that you know more about this interesting delicacy, do you think you’re ready to give one a try?

HSK 3 quiz

1. All of the following are ways the Chinese eat “皮蛋(pídàn)” except .

A. They boil them and eat them with milk.
B. They make them into pungent appetizers served with pickled ginger.
C. They cook them in porridge.

2. According to the four properties in Chinese medicine, what is the property of “皮蛋(pídàn)”?

A. Warm
B. Cool
C. Cold

3. “皮蛋(pídàn)” is made from ______ .

A. Duck eggs.
B. Chicken eggs.
C. Quail eggs.

Chinese Culture
Chinese Popular Words (Fun Stuff) 
HSK Test
General Chinese (Beginner Level) 
General Chinese (Intermediate Level) 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top