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BackEat & Drink » Food Culture » Chinese Internet Is Upset That Italy Seized Hundreds of Century Eggs, Calling Them 'Unfit for Human'

The decision is not amusing to some Chinese citizens.

Italian police recently confiscated 800 preserved eggs from two Chinese restaurants in Misterbianco, Sicily, South China Morning Post reports. Most of the eggs are century eggs and the rest are salted eggs. The owners of the restaurants were also detained.

In a statement on April 9, Italy’s Ministry of Health says that the eggs are of questionable origins and violate European Union import laws. The health authorities also deem the eggs "unfit for human consumption."

Century eggs, or trứng bắc thảo in Vietnamese, are made by wrapping duck egg in a mixture of clay, ash and salt to preserve for months. The result is an amber color egg with a unique savory taste and smell and they are a common ingredient in many Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. In Vietnam, century eggs are sometimes served on their own with dried shrimps and pickles or added to soups, congee and steamed egg with pork.

Many Chinese netizens have taken to social media to ridicule the incident. Under a thread on Weibo, many point out the double standard in such a statement, citing the use of similarly preserved cheeses and canned fish in Italian cuisine. Some entertain the idea that Chinese and people who can consume century eggs are not actually human, but are deities, aliens and ghosts. Some shiver at the thought of Europeans trying stinky tofu.

[Photo by Wikimedia user Hippolyte/CC BY 4.0]


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