People may find them yucky, but to the others they may have the most irresistible and addictive taste.
Introducing “tokneneng,” one of the most popular street foods here in the Philippines!
These circular orangey ordinary-looking things that you see are actually one-day old boiled duck eggs minus the chick embryo (in local parlance “penoy“) which were coated with the tangerine-color batter then deep fried. Partnered with a do-it-yourself sauce made from mixing vinegar, chopped cucumber, chopped onion, and pepper (for those who want it spicy like me), they would let you release several burps, a beaming smile and be slightly crossed eyes (just injecting a shade of exaggeration to achieve my intent.)
Yup. These “toknenengs” have never stopped pleasing my exotic taste despite the danger of catching foodborne illnesses (i.e., hepatitis, typhoid fever, cholera, amebiasis, etc.). Well, this has been the reminder of my husband when he discovered my penchant for this Filipino street food more than 18 years ago, but thank God I have been spared from this health problem. But sorry, I am a bull. My stubbornness would get the best of me most of the time. Hahahahaha. That’s why last Friday, January 10, I approached one of the stalls under the overpass near the coastal mall as I passed by it after accomplishing an errand at GSIS (Government Service Insurance System).
Disturbed and uncomfortable already due to the murmurs of my stomach, I gave in to the enticement of this food which was placed in a covered glass container. Partly convincing myself that they were clean and freshly cooked (I saw the vendor frying them from a distance), I had to order two pieces until I requested for the third to finally feel the fullness and end my long “abstinence.”
Burp, smile, burp, smile, burp, smile! P.S.: Be temporarily cross eyed!
I was in this state – savoring the different tastes on my tongue – when several customers began joining me at the stall for the same reason. The limited space immediately became crowded. I smiled secretly and thought to myself, “Wow, my magnet is working again!”
Seriously, I would rather search for the food, eat it, and find out how much it would satisfy me than reading a description about it just like what you, my dear readers, are doing right now. If you are presently here in our country, I suggest that you do not any more delay in discovering the palatable taste of “tokneneng” which I believe very much identifies us as Filipinos – banal extrinsically but unique intrinsically.