Filipinos school the internet on what balut really is after Doja Cat statement
Balut, an umami-packed fertilized duck egg delicacy, is back on the West’s radar and this time it’s because of Doja Cat’s new single named after the Asian street delicacy.
However, it seems the rapper and singer got a detail wrong when she first explained the song title choice. This spurred a number of prejudiced comments from non-Asian netizens who haven’t tried the dish yet to deem it “gross.” Filipinos were quick to correct and call them out.
“I named the song ‘Balut’ because it signifies a bird that’s being eaten alive. It’s a metaphor for Twitter stans and the death of Twitter toxicity. The beginning of ‘X’ and the end of ‘tweets’,” Doja Cat said on Instagram Stories on Sept. 17.
Doja Cat explains the meaning behind her new song ‘Balut’:
“i named the song balut because it signifies a bird that's being eaten alive. It's a metaphor for twitter stans and the death of twitter toxicity. The beginning of ‘X’ and the end of ‘tweets’.” pic.twitter.com/MPJELOnYi9
— Pop Base (@PopBase) September 16, 2023
Doja Cat didn’t include the word or the imagery of balut in her track’s lyrics so some fans were still a little confused despite the explanation. Filipinos clarified that balut isn’t “eaten alive.” Though the duck embryo is set-developed, the egg itself is boiled or steamed. Still, it sparked interest in the savory treat and not all of it was positive. Videos of people eating balut have started going viral with some netizens going so far as to call it “disgusting.”
Balut has been met with mixed reactions since time immemorial, as with a lot of Asian cultural food. However, as Filipino netizens have argued, it’s about time we moved past ethnocentric and bordering on racist statements that imply that one culture is more superior or civilized than another.
As Filipino netizens have argued, it’s about time we moved past ethnocentric and bordering on racist statements that imply that one culture is more superior or civilized than another
Hours after posting the Instagram Story, Doja Cat went on Instagram Live to talk about her experience of eating balut.
“I liked it. [But] I don’t think I had it properly. It was still warm,” she recounted. “Balut was good. It reminded me of liver. It was almost like you can tell that it’s a small [serving] that is high [in] fat. I can taste the vitamins in it. You just know that that sh*t’s good for you immediately.”
Doja Cat reveals on Instagram Live that she tried balut for the first time. pic.twitter.com/JkvsCQ7Muo
— Buzzing Pop (@BuzzingPop) September 18, 2023
“It’s a fertilized duck egg. I didn’t see the duck inside necessarily,” she added. “It wasn’t as whimsical as I thought it would be. Like the full [bird] and there’s feathers and you’re eating it straight up. It wasn’t like that at all.” She also said in regret she wasn’t able to add a pinch of salt on it in her excitement to try it out.
Will Doja Cat’s opinions on balut convince people to try it out before passing judgment? We’ll have to wait to find out.