By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News North America Bureau
August 5, 2013
NEW YORK – Can anyone eat 37 duck eggs in 5 minutes?
The second annual Maharlika-Jeepney “Balut Eating Contest” at the Hester’s Street Fair in New York City has proven that anything is possible.
From Puerto Rico to the Philippines, 12 diverse contestants vied for the title “2013 Balut Eating Champion” and many of them were first time Balut eaters.
“I’m just hungry, I’m just here to eat, I haven’t eaten all day, I just want to put something in my stomach besides water, and if it’s duck fetus, feed us,” Carlos Borjes, a New Yorker from Puerto Rico said.
“I know I can eat a lot, I know I can eat balut, our competitor looks pretty fierce over there – the reigning champion, I’m just going to give it my all,” said Dale Watkins from Brooklyn, NY.
To win, the contestant must eat the most number of ‘balut’ in 5 minutes.
Wayne Algenio, last year’s record-eater downed 18 duck eggs in 5 minutes and he made it again this year.
Algenio broke his own record after chowing-down 37 duck eggs this time.
During the contest it was announced that he ate 27 duck eggs but after a recount, Maharlika/Jeepney organizer announced on Facebook that there was a miscount.
“I’m still hungry, I can eat a lot of food that’s how it’s possible,” Algenio said after the contest.
Balut has gone a long way from a “Fear Factor” challenge to Andrew Zimmern’s bizarre food of the world feature.
Curious non-Filipinos want a bite of this delicacy
“It was delicious. It was just like eating a hard-boiled egg except for the fully grown embryo,” said New York native Audrey Greene.
From providing guests a taste of authentic Cebu Lechon, to a taste of Filipino music with music legend Joe Bataan’s classics and Filipino DJ’s rocking the fair, organizers from the Filipino restaurants Maharlika and Jeepney said the gathering was more than just a balut eating contest, it was a celebration of Filipino culture.
“I’m glad that Balut is gateway to introducing people to Filipino cuisine, so many people are curious about what it is and to present it to them in an environment like this where its so much fun,” Co-owner and Executive Chef of Maharlika and Jeepney, Miguel Trinidad said, “It opens up the mind to wanna try Filipino food and check it out.”
You may contact Don Tagala at firstname.lastname@example.org