Dendritic Century Egg

The other day, my husband went and got a six-pack of century eggs from the local supermarket. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can read more about these eggs here. Basically, it’s a preserved egg that is considered a Chinese delicacy.

dendritic chinese preserved egg Although we’ve eaten plenty of these delicious eggs at restaurants, we’ve never bought them from the supermarket to consume at home.

To our utter surprise, when we cracked open one, the egg had *dendrites on the surface.

*A crystal dendrite is a crystal that develops with a typical multi-branching tree-like form. Dendritic crystal growth is very common and illustrated by snowflake formation and frost patterns.

A quick internet search landed me on the Wikipedia page for century eggs which told me that the dendrites are formed by alkaline salt – the key ingredient in transforming regular ol’ chicken or duck eggs into this creamy, dreamy yumminess.

Apparently, dendrites are quite a common occurrence in century eggs and one of the many names for this preserved egg is ‘pine patterned egg’ (松花蛋) which references the dendritic growth.

Although we don’t currently have any dendritic stones for sale in the store, we have had some gorgeous pieces in the past (just thought I’d share):

…and nature continues to amaze and inspire. ‘Til next time. x bex

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