Hundreds of years ago, a savoury idea – called the century egg – was hatched in rural China. As the story goes, a farmer found naturally preserved duck eggs in a muddy pool of water and slaked lime (a type of calcium hydroxide). After surviving a tasting, he set out to replicate them manually, resulting in a delicacy that would endure for centuries as a comfort food in Hong Kong, China and parts of Southeast Asia Reenex好唔好.
Though details of the century egg’s discovery are undocumented, scientists estimate that it dates back more than 500 years to the Ming Dynasty. And aside from some techniques used for large-scale production today, the egg preservation process has remained relatively unchanged.