The great century egg debate

The great century egg debate

An overwhelming reaction to an article in which iReporters describe their most challenging dining experiences has inspired us to serve up our official response


In June, CNNGo published the following article, which featured opinions from various "iReporters" describing some of their most challenging dining experiences. "iReporters" are part of CNN's global audience who submit their own reactions to assignments that we suggest.

iReport: The most "revolting" food i have had is...

Each choice of food mentioned in the article was provided by one of these global iReporters and, as such, represents their opinion on a particular dish or food item. There were several submissions to this assignment.

We reached out to each iReporter and published the comments of those who responded. Those who responded just happened to comment on Asian food.

The post listed several food items, including century egg (pi dan or 皮蛋) -- considered a delicacy in Chinese culture and by global gourmets in the know.

Century egg was the first item listed in the article -- which was not a ranking in any way nor should be interpreted as such. The items were numbered simply to order them on the article page. No entry was given greater or lesser weight in this ordering by CNNGo.

Each choice of food was the opinion of the iReporter alone. Like all iReports, the content is not an opinion of either CNNGo or CNN. As you read the article, this is clearly portrayed.

It is very unfortunate that this article has been misinterpreted as an insult to century egg or Chinese culture. This certainly was not our intention.

One can see throughout CNNGo the style in which we write and present many wonderful aspects and colors of Chinese culture, history, tradition, cuisine, locations and its peoples.

We do the same for Korea, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, India and even Australia, plus the Asia-Pacific region in general. Click around CNNGo to see examples.

For many, century egg is delicious. For some, it is not. Personally, I love it and like it better with some pickled ginger at my favorite Hong Kong restaurant.

I am not, however, a fan of dried cicadas -- also featured in the article. I’ve tried them and they didn’t really do it for me. I also don’t really like grapefruit. I am not sure why. I just don’t. But these are my personal opinions. Not CNNGo’s, nor CNN’s.

It is also very unfortunate that the iReporter who provided the entry on the century egg should be inundated with email and online vilification and even death threats -- all for merely expressing his own personal opinion. Of an egg.

Let us be very clear. This article was not meant to offend in any way anyone who likes century eggs, anyone who dislikes century eggs, any century egg manufacturers, anyone who works in the manufacturing or serving of century egg and especially Chinese culture.

We apologize unreservedly for any offense the article has inadvertently caused.

We do welcome and encourage all feedback to the article and are keen to hear about what foods you both like and dislike. We are publishing a piece in the coming days on "100 of the world’s most delicious foods." Perhaps your favorite will make the list? If not, tell us why it should be included.

We have also noticed a popular poll on Weibo -- a Chinese Twitter-esque site -- ranking the most "revolting" Western foods:

The poll closes on Thursday July 7, but this is the response to date from more than 60,000 entries:

1. 半生牛肉(带血) -- Half raw beef (with blood) 31 percent
2. 法式蜗牛(虽然品种不一样)-- French snail (although there are different kinds) 20 percent
3. 臭奶酪(有刺激性气味)--  Smelly cheese (with pungent smell)  42 percent
4. 火鸡(肉又老又腥)--  Turkey (the meat is tough and smell meaty)  5 percent
5. 生拌各种蔬菜(跟兔子一样)-- All kinds of uncooked vegetable salad ("rabbit food") 2 percent

You can view or engage with the poll here.

Andrew Demaria, CNNGo Editor in Chief

















  1. 半生牛肉(带血) 31%
  2. 法式蜗牛(虽然品种不一样)20%
  3. 臭奶酪(有刺激性气味)42%
  4. 火鸡(肉又老又腥)5%
  5. 生拌各种蔬菜(跟兔子一样)2%