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The Mesmerizing Process of Mass-Producing Century Eggs: A Fascinating Watch

Explore the fascinating process of mass-producing century eggs

Century eggs, also known as pidan eggs or 100-year-old eggs, have a fascinating history and are known for their unique taste and delicacy status. Despite their name, these eggs are not actually a century old, but rather the result of a meticulous preservation process that takes place in mass production factories. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating process of how Century Eggs are made, based on information from a captivating video found on

The First Steps: Selecting and Preserving Eggs

The process of making century eggs begins with the careful selection of eggs. Whether they are duck, quail or chicken eggs, they are thoroughly cleaned and inspected to ensure that no developed or fertilized eggs are used. Once the eggs pass inspection, they are ready for the preservation process.
The pickling process involves immersing the eggs in an alkaline marinade of salt, quicklime, ash and clay. This marinade, similar to the brine preservation methods found in various cultures, acts as a protective coating that prevents oxygen and contaminants from entering the eggs while allowing the chemical reaction to occur.

The role of clay in the conservation process

Clay plays a vital role in the preservation of century eggs. After the eggs are coated with the alkaline marinade, they are placed in industrial-sized vats filled with different colors of clay. This clay coating ensures an even distribution of the marinade and prevents the eggs from clumping.
Once the clay treatment is complete, factory workers use wire egg spoons to carefully guide the eggs down a rice husk covered slide. This step gives the eggs a distinct final layer and maintains their separation. The eggs are then transferred to a large drying room where they are aged for several months.

The alkaline transformation

During the curing process, the clay coating on the eggs interacts with the proteins and fats, resulting in a chemical transformation. Unlike traditional acidic pickling solutions, the clay marinade is alkaline, which causes the eggs to become alkaline as well. This transformation contributes to the unique flavor and texture of Century Eggs.

Unveiling the Century Egg

After months of curing in the drying room, the century eggs are ready to be unveiled. The shells of the eggs are carefully peeled back, revealing a gelatinous and viscous egg. The color of the eggs can vary from pastel yellow whites with golden yolks to deep amber whites with green-black yolks. The variation in color is due to whether or not the eggs were vacuum-sealed during the curing process.
Regardless of their color, Century Eggs retain a consistent flavor that is appreciated by many. These eggs are often enjoyed with rice, soft tofu, or even on their own without any additional cooking.

A captivating culinary experience

The mass production of Century Eggs is a fascinating process that combines precise preservation techniques with the transformative power of alkaline marinades and clay coatings. The result is a culinary delicacy that has captivated taste buds for centuries. Whether you are a fan of century eggs or simply intrigued by the fascinating world of food production, exploring the fascinating process behind century egg production offers a deeper appreciation for the artistry and craftsmanship involved in creating these unique delicacies.
The next time you encounter century eggs on a restaurant menu or at a Chinese festival, you can savor the knowledge of how these mesmerizing delicacies are made, knowing the intricate steps that go into their production.


Century eggs, also known as pidan eggs or 100-year-old eggs, are a type of preserved egg that undergoes a unique preservation process. They are often seen in restaurants and at Chinese festivals, and are celebrated for their distinctive taste and delicacy status.

Are centennial eggs really a hundred years old?

No, century eggs are not really a hundred years old. Despite their name, they are nowhere near a century old. The term “century” is used metaphorically to describe the unique curing process that gives these eggs their distinctive taste and appearance.

What is the curing process for Century Eggs?

The curing process for Century eggs involves immersing cleaned eggs in an alkaline marinade of salt, quicklime, ash and clay. This marinade acts as a protective coating, preventing oxygen and contaminants from entering the eggs while allowing a chemical reaction to take place. The eggs are then left to mature for several months.

Why are Century eggs coated in clay?

Clay plays a critical role in the preservation process of Century Eggs. After soaking in the alkaline marinade, the eggs are coated with clay to ensure even distribution of the marinade and to prevent the eggs from clumping. The clay coating also contributes to the unique appearance and texture of Century eggs.

What do Century Eggs taste like?

Century Eggs have a distinctive taste that is often described as rich, savory and slightly salty. The curing process and the interaction between the alkaline marinade and the egg’s proteins and fats create a unique flavor profile. The texture of Century Eggs is gelatinous and slightly sticky.

How are Century Eggs typically served?

Century Eggs are typically served with rice, soft tofu or enjoyed on their own. They can be used as an ingredient in various dishes such as congee or salads, adding a unique flavor and texture. Eggs are usually peeled and eaten without further cooking.

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