JOURNAL - JUNE - The Centuries-Old Snack
The Centuries-Old Snack
Gelatinous and translucent with a faintly cheesy aroma, thousand-year-old eggs or pidan are an ancient Chinese delicacy, said to date back to the time of the Ming dynasty.
In the Sichuanese town of Peng Zhen, the sole producer of these cured chickens’ eggs is Biru Wang, 78, who has been tirelessly making them by hand every day for the past forty years.
While some pidan-makers prefer for the congealed yolk and albumen to emerge from the shell an inky black or a swamp-green colour, Biru opts for a sunset orange, the product of a lengthy infusion in tea water, salt and quicklime, before the eggs are then rolled in a crust of spices and sawdust and left to solidify over many months. “The most important ingredients though are love and care”, Biru explains with a wry smile. “You should eat at least one a day. Then you will live a long and healthy life, just like me.”