Huffington Post David Moye First Posted: 08/27/12 05:11 PM ET Updated: 08/28/12 10:21 AM ET
If the idea of eating even one duck fetus seems hard to swallow, try eating 18 of them -- in five minutes.
That's the number of "baluts" -- as they are called in the Phillippines -- that one man managed to shove down his throat in an eating competition taking place in Brooklyn this past Saturday, Gothamist reported.
The contest was organized by Maharlika, a Filipino restaurant in New York City, in order to give potential diners a taste of "balut," which is a regional specialty in the Phillippines, according to ABS-CBN News.
The dish, a fertilized duck egg about 11 to 14 days from hatching, is boiled and usually served with a dash of salt and sugar cane vinegar, according to Maharlika executive chef Miguel Trinidad.
"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," he told ABS-CBN News.
"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."
One contestant named Jill, who ate eight of the duck embryos during the competition, admitted that it required a textural adjustment.
"You can feel the feathers and then, like, feel a little bit of the bone. It's a little bit crunchy," she told ITN.com.
"But honestly, I wasn't even thinking. I was just shoving it in my mouth."
The winner, Wayne Algenio, 27, managed to choke down 18 baluts within the five minute period, despite never having eaten them before.
"I didn't really get the full taste of it because I was just shoving it into my mouth and eating it as fast as possible," he told GMA Network, a Filipino-American news website.
"I did not have a tummy ache afterwards; actually I was still hungry."
Algenio didn't win any money for his feet, just a championship belt. However, he was so thrilled by his moment in the sun that he plans to defend his crown next year.
The idea of eating fertilized duck eggs may sound gross to many people, but food blogger Roddy Gibbs said baluts are better than they're quacked up to be.
"It tastes like an egg and the fetus has the flavor of mild duck meat," he told The Huffingon Post. "You don't notice the feathers and the bones are soft."