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Horrible eating competition: Duckling fetuses

Report by Sam Datta-Paulin

Competitors in New York have taken part in possibly one of the most unpleasant eating contests ever hosted in the city.

Dozens of intrepid eaters and an audience of hundreds gathered on Friday to celebrate balut, essentially a boiled duckling fetus still in its egg.

"It's about 11 to 14 days from hatching and it's a delicacy in the Philippines," described Miguel Trinidad, executive chef and partner at Maharlika, a Filipino restaurant in the City.

"Once you crack it open, there is basically a soup in it and you crack it open, you drink that soup and then you eat the yolk and inside you see a baby duckling.

"Sometimes you might get lucky and you might find one that has a few feathers, a little bit of a beak on it, but you do see a little embryo and that's the part that you eat along with the yolk and the soup."

"And it's a great source of protein. It's considered an aphrodisiac. It's supposed to give people power," he added.

The competition involved eating as many balut as possible within five minutes.

"You can feel the feathers and then like feel a little bit of the bone. It's a little bit crunchy. But honestly, I wasn't even thinking. I was just shoving it in my mouth," said Jill, who managed eight eggs.

The winner, however, Wayney Wonder, managed 18 eggs in five minutes.

"I had never tried it before this contest. This is the first time I've had it, but it tasted like an egg.

"I didn't think about the little animal I was eating," he said.

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