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Century Eggs (China)
In China, duck, chicken or quail eggs are preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime and rice hulls for several weeks to months, depending on the method of processing. The yolk becomes a dark green to grey and retains a creamy consistency and a strong flavor thanks to the hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, while the white becomes a dark brown, translucent jelly with a salty flavor. The transforming agent of century eggs is an alkaline salt. Word to the wise: don’t eat century eggs preserved with lead oxide as it is poisonous. Zinc oxide can also sometimes be used, which too much can lead to a copper deficiency, which isn’t ideal either. As a delicacy, century eggs are used in many traditional Chinese dishes and often served at special occasions, including birthdays and weddings.