Eggs in Chicken Town

I’m always amazed at the things that are sold on the street in China.

On a recent trip to Kaiping City, our group stopped by a small town called Chikan- which a few friends immediately began to refer to as, “Chicken town”.  Famous for a picturesque strip of row houses along a small river, a bazaar selling local snacks and trinkets now buzzes on the street to lure the groups of tourists who stop in for a peek at the old village.

Amongst the treats and trinkets sold on the street are eggs- Ostrich eggs, Chicken eggs, and other eggs which were listed to me, but I was unable to understand due to a heavy local dialect. Some eggs were sold raw, but most were preserved, buried in baskets of salt after being soaked in what seemed like tepid water doused with salt, as I observed one egg lady doing in the photo below.

I’m not a big fan of eggs, and though I do like the Chinese preserved eggs in my congee, I didn’t think these eggs would travel well with an afternoon left of sightseeing. And if anything happened to them, I would probably lose a friend or two on the long bus ride home. So with much restraint I refrained from buying an Ostrich egg. As I am thinking about what to prepare for dinner tonight, I wonder if I should have taken my chances with cradling this odd ingredient home.