By Benjamin Cost
Would you like your eggs scrambled, sunny-side up, or how about boiled in the piss of a virgin boy? In an age-old practice that seems to bridge the gap between Jackass stunts and serious tradition, every spring Dongyang’s citizens chow down on eggs marinated and cooked in schoolboy urine harvested from primary school toilets. Reuters highlights the preparation procedure:
It takes nearly an entire day to make these unique eggs, starting off by soaking and then boiling raw eggs in a pot of urine. After that, the shells of the hard-boiled eggs are cracked and they continue to simmer in urine for hours.
Vendors have to keep pouring urine into the pot and controlling the fire to keep the eggs from being overheated and overcooked.
Ge [a urine egg vendor] said he has been making the snack, popular due to its fresh and salty taste, for more than 20 years. Each egg goes for 1.50 yuan ($0.24), a little more than twice the price of the regular eggs he also sells.
The allure of these “virgin boy eggs” lies in their alleged energy-boosting and restorative properties. One exuberant consumer stated, “by eating these eggs, we will not have any pain in our waists, legs and joints. Also, you will have more energy when you work.” Some even claim consuming the eggs helps ward off heat stroke and improve circulation.
In fact, not only do some Dongyang families eat these eggs at every meal, but the eggs have proven such a hit that Chinese officials have deemed them part of Dongyang’s intangible cultural heritage. There’s still no clear reason why the recipe specifically calls for boys’ urine, and for many, there’s probably no good reason for why it calls for urine at all (at this very moment, a Tang Dynasty prankster could be guffawing in his grave, amused that he convinced countless generations of people to both ingest pee and pay for it).
Indeed, some Dongyang residents believe you’d have to be “piss drunk” to partake in such a bizarre culinary tradition, and claim that the health perks are likely myths and that you run serious health risks by consuming the eggs. And considering that they’re doused in urine collected from toilets, which are known to contain more than just pee, there’s a decent chance the eggs are slightly “hard-soiled.” Though, the prospect of having a schoolboy freshly season your eggs doesn’t sound much better.
But in the scheme of bizarre foods in China, which includes bird regurgitate that fetches more than gold per ounce and panda poop tea that’s valued at even more than that, “virgin boy pee eggs” don’t really seem…….nah, they still seem quite bizarre.
And while we’re not going to knock people who do enjoy these odd eats, you won’t find us ingesting a “virgin boy piss eggs benedict” anytime soon, especially if it bounces.