Whole ricotta love

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The icing on the cake at Bensonhurst’s Columbus Day Parade on Oct. 11 was the neighborhood’s first-ever cannoli-eating contest.

Eric “Badlands” Booker stowed 27 cannoli in his powerful frame — taking home a $500 top prize and the day’s glory. And the maestro of mastication might have packed away more, but he hamstrung himself for love of cannoli.

“There was dunking allowed, but I chose not to dunk because the inside would run into the coffee and it wouldn’t be as good,” Booker said.

Booker said he did all his eating for the day at the contest. But the second-place finisher said he could have come back for seconds.

“It’s only a six-minute contest — in six minutes you cat get down as much,” said Tim “Eater X” Janus, who woofed down more than four cannoli a minute for a total of 26.25.

And the eaters are were no strangers to competitive cannoli cramming — they went belly-to-belly charging the confections at Manhattan’s Feast of San Gennaro last month. But Booker said Brooklyn’s cannoli take the cake.

“These ones were a little bigger and delicious — no doubt,” said Booker. “It was a little challenging for me to stay focused, because they were so good.”

The ricotta-infused refreshments came from Bensonhurst institution Villabate Alba, whose masterful bakers made 300 of the treats for the day’s competition. The bakery owner said he didn’t mind seeing all their hard work disappear in a matter of minutes.

“It was all in good fun,” said Antonio Alaimo.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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