Wayne Algenio breaks record anew: 40 ‘balut’ in 5 minutes!

The Hollis, Queens resident on his third consecutive win: ‘Nervous!’

The Hollis, Queens resident on his third consecutive win: ‘Nervous!’

By Cristina DC Pastor

He did it again: Wayne Algenio won the balut-eating contest for the third straight year, wolfing down 40 duck embryos in five minutes.

He should be in the Balut Hall of Fame, if ever there was one, I may have said. He laughed and said, “Sure, why not!”

Wayne, 29, a sterilization technician at SurgiCare of Manhattan, first won the competition – the only one of its kind in New York City – by finishing 18 balut in five minutes in 2012. Spectacular even by Philippine standards! The following year, his record shot up to 37 balut. His capacity just kept getting bigger. Just this afternoon, he reported to The FilAm breaking his record with 40 balut in five minutes.

Balut-eating is a yearly competition organized by the Maharlika and Jeepney restaurants of Nicole Ponseca and held as part of the annual Hester Street Fair.

“I was nervous, I’m always nervous at the start of the contest,” he said.

Wayne said two people tied for second place: a young American man and an older Filipino or what he called a ‘tito.’ They each finished 35 balut.

“They did really good,” he quipped.

As in previous years, Wayne said he never prepared for this year’s contest. On his first year, he did watch YouTube videos of how balut is eaten because at the time, he had never tried one. The contest was the first time he has ever tasted the balut, a duck embryo delicacy common in Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, it is usually eaten with salt and vinegar and is said to be an appetizer that matches well with beer. Some Filipino men swear by its aphrodisiac qualities. It has a taste and texture that some westerners may find “extreme.”

Surprisingly, Wayne is not a devoted balut eater. He gets his fill only when he’s in the race. Otherwise, he does not look for it in Asian grocery stores, and gets no craving.

He said, “It’s not bad. They’re just boiled eggs.”

No they’re not, but whatever you say, Master!

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