MLE

 

Booker Squeaks Cannoli Win Over Janus
9/19/2004

In what is easily the most hard-fought battle in competitive eating history, Badlands Booker took the Cannoli Belt at the Feast of the San Gennaro with a total of 16.5 six-inch La Bella Ferrara cannoli in six minutes.

Placing second was rising newcomer Tim Janus, the face painter, who ate 16 cannoli to build on his performance in chicken wings on Labor Day in Buffalo, where he tied the great Cookie Jarvis for fourth place in a field of 15 top American eaters.

However, the fight for third place was where the drama was at the corner of Grand and Baxter in Manhattan's Little Italy. Tied with 15 cannoli in regulation, Allen Goldstein and Crazy Legs Conti agreed to a two-cannoli eat-off. However, at the conclusion of the eat-off it was another tie.

Goldstein and Legs, shaking with intensity, agreed to another two-cannoli eat-off. But after the dunking and the chewing, they both opened their mouths at the exact same time to demonstrate that they had finished the cannoli. Another tie.

The crowd screamed for them to accept a draw, but they would not. Officials brought out another two cannoli each to the battered warriors and the whislte blew. Finishing only one second before his opponent was Allen Goldstein, who celebrated the victory by pouring his coffee over his head and transforming the stage, if only for a moment, into the Dunkin' Donuts Box of Joe Victory Circle.

Cookie Jarvis, former world cannoli eating champion, was on hand to present the belt to Booker in a moving ceremony. Jarvis reportedly is on the Atkins diet and cannot indulge in the ricotta and sugar confection kown as cannoli. However, Jarvis' record of 21 cannoli in six minutes stands.

La Bella Ferrara is located at 108 Mulberry Street in the heart of Little Italy. It is estimated that the pastry shop, which has been at its current location for 93 years, has created and sold more than one million cannolis since 1969, when they began keeping records.