Urine Soaked Virgin Boy Eggs: A Springtime Treat

Spring in Houston is my favorite season. By season, I mean that I do love the two to four weeks of relatively mild weather that we receive between what is referred to as "winter" and the unforgiving, eye-melting hellbeast that is summer.

When I think of springtime, I think of young love and migratory butterflies. I think of wildflowers -- crisp bluebonnets and lovely, tart Indian paintbrushes. I think of birds singing a merry song and children laughing.

Residents of Dongyang, China, however, have a totally different connotation to springtime:

Urine Soaked Virgin Boy Eggs.

You did indeed read that correctly. Allow me to say it again:

Urine Soaked Virgin Boy Eggs.

For centuries, when springtime rolls around, residents of this provincial Chinese city have snacked on eggs that have been boiled for hours -- hours -- in the urine of boys, preferably under the age of ten.

The eggs have been declared a delicacy by the Chinese government. Locals believe that eating the eggs produces lasting health benefits, such as avoiding heatstroke and any pains in the leg, hips or wrists. Now, that's a compelling reason for eating eggs cooked in urine.

Urine is collected in pots and basins from boy toilets in local primary schools. Street vendors first simmer eggs in the urine, then crack the shells and return the eggs to the simmering urine for further cooking, adding fresh urine throughout the day, because regular eggs can just piss off.

To be fair, the practice of hand-painting eggs with water colors and hiding them for children to find seems equally strange, but at least collecting children's urine is in no way involved.

Urine Soaked Virgin Boy Eggs.

You will find yourself saying that phrase over and over in your head. I know I did for a while after I first heard of this delicacy. Let me also inform you that it is not a nice phrase to have congesting the stream of your inner monologue.

Ancient Chinese medicine features many strange cures. Seahorses are believed to have great health benefits for one's kidneys. As an unfortunate result, close to 20 million little seahorses a year are caught, and the seahorse population in the region has been fished almost to the point of extinction.

Bird's nest soup is another Chinese delicacy. Edible-nest Swiftlets create nests out of their own saliva, which solidifies against the rocky outcrops that comprise their habitat. A kilogram of highest-quality edible spit nest can go for up to $10,000. It's supposed to aid libido, asthma (for which modern medicine knows no cure) and even immune response.

Science has found evidence that some foods do contain medicinal properties.

There are health benefits to chocolate and the antioxidant resveratrol is found in red wine. Even regular, non-urine-soaked eggs have great health benefits. Albumen, the white part of eggs, is one of the purest and best sources of protein available.

Also, I hear that fresh fruits and vegetables do wonders for your system.

Forget that, though, right? Soak them eggs in urine and let's get it on!

Spring Break! Señor Frogs, bay-bah! Urine Soaked Virgin Boy Eggs!

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Sam Brown