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Urine-soaked eggs a springtime treat in China

"Virgin boy eggs" are soaked and cooked in the urine of young boys, preferably below the age of 10.
Chinese eggs 2012 03 29Enlarge
A vendor picks eggs up in market in Beijing on Oct. 29, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images) (PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

While nothing boiled and soaked in urine sounds too appealing, "virgin boy eggs" are considered a springtime delicacy in China’s Zhejiang Province.

Basins and buckets of boys' urine, preferably from boys younger than 10, are collected from primary school toilets as part of the tradition each spring, Reuters reported.

The urine is then used to boil the eggs, their shells cracked to allow the flavor to slip through, then soaked in urine and boiled again. The cooking process takes an entire day, according to the Shanghai Daily.

The scent of the eggs is unmistakable as people pass the many street vendors in Dongyang who sell it, claiming it has remarkable health properties, according to Reuters.

"If you eat this, you will not get heat stroke. These eggs cooked in urine are fragrant," Ge Yaohua, 51, who owns one of the more popular "virgin boy eggs" stalls, told Reuters. "They are good for your health. Our family has them for every meal. In Dongyang, every family likes eating them."

Many Dongyang residents, young and old, said they believed in the tradition passed on by their ancestors that the eggs decrease body heat, promote better blood circulation and just generally reinvigorate the body, according to Reuters.

But not everyone is a fan. Chinese medical experts gave mixed reviews about the health benefits of the practice, with some warning about sanitary issues surrounding the use of urine to cook the eggs, Reuters reported.

Urine Eggs a Delicacy in China
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