By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Sept. 22, 2014
NEW YORK – Forty boiled 18-day-old fertilized duck eggs in five minutes.
That’s how many baluts Wayne Algenio chowed down to win this year’s Maharlika / Jeepney Balut Eating Championship belt at the Hester Street Fair in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday.
It’s a three-peat for this 29-year-old three-time balut competitive eating champion.
“Thank you guys for all coming out,” said Algenio. “Great event, I always have fun here. I hope you guys have fun also. It’s awesome seeing you guys to come out and cheer.”
Algenio broke his own record of downing 38 balut last year and 18 eggs when the balut eating contest debuted in 2012.
The contest is simple: the person who eats the most balut, sips the soup, devours both the yolk and the meaty bird in five minutes wins.
“This year, the competition was very difficult,” said the balut eating champion. “I had the competitor to my left hit 35, and he was keeping me paced because I heard his number, so I just know I had to go faster.”
Coming in close with 35 balut each, Lolo Tommy Boy and Peter Wan were tied for second place.
“This is my first balut eating competition,” said Wan. “I’ve had a few competitions before in college. I’ve eaten 15 hotdogs in 10 minutes, I’ve eaten 10 triple cheese burgers in one sitting, I’ve eaten 50 wings in one sitting, so, never balut, and I’m really proud to be part of this Filipino competition.”
Now on its third year, the balut eating contest has not only become a popular competitive spectacle in the Big Apple, this Pinoy delicacy is making its way to New York’s mainstream foodie’s consciousness.
“It was an amazing sight to see,” said Corey, host of the event. “It was such a competition. There was a sense of camaraderie, community, and also Filipino pride. I have tried balut. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s definitely different, I mean, it’s delicious. It’s a hard boiled egg but richer.”
Just like the balut street vendor in the Philippines, Team Maharlika and Jeepney’s crew shouts “balut” whenever somebody orders this Filipino delicacy.
“All of a sudden you’ll hear a ‘balut’ and everybody came out to get balut, the vendor was yelling it,” said Miguel Trinidad, owner of Jeepney Restaurant. “So we wanted to recreate that. We shout it out so we can peak people’s curiosity, like what is that, what are they talking about.”
“Jeepney and Maharlika, they’ve definitely brought Filipino cuisine into the New York scene,” said Christopher Panlilo. “They’ve made it popular with non-Filipinos.”
Next year’s balut eating contest just got tougher with the new 40 baluts in five minutes world record.