NJ native has mustard belt in his sights after winning pork roll eating contest
TRENTON — Carmen Cincotti has only been on the competitive eating scene for a little over two years, but he already achieved one of his two goals by bringing home the title of top pork roll eater this weekend at Arm & Hammer Park.
Even without competitive eating superstar Joey Chestnut on hand, Cincotti came away with the title from the 3rd annual Trenton Thunder World Famous Case's Pork Roll Eating Contest. Scarfing down 40 quarter-pound sandwiches, Cincotti said he likely would have done even better with Chestnut to compete against.
"To win the New Jersey contest as a New Jersey kid, it means a lot," he said. "I think for me, I didn't have that guy to the left or right of me pushing me. Joey Chestnut last year really pushed me to my limit."
Cincotti also ate 40 sandwiches last year, just a few shy of the world record of 43, but said with another year's worth of experience he felt more comfortable during the competition and after.
"This year I could actually stand and talk after," he said.
Having claimed the title in Trenton, Cincotti said he would like to win the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest in Coney Island on July 4th, which also happens to be his birthday.
"I grew up watching the contest every year, and I just wanted to be part of it," he said.
In 2015 he said he tried to qualify but "did horribly," only eating 13 hot dogs.
"By that point I got bit by the bug," he said. "After that I kind of got into it, started doing more contests here and there."
His first year entering the Case's contest he said he only ate 16 sandwiches, so he knows he has "come a long way for sure."
During the past few years Cincotti has entered all sorts of competitive eating contests. He said the most unusual one was a kale eating contest. Most of the contests do not involve healthy foods or vegetables. While he wasn't sure exactly how much he'd eaten, Cincotti estimated it to be around 3 pounds in 10 minutes.
As he stood on the same field where the Trenton Thunder have battled for Eastern League titles in the summer, Cincotti said he was glad to win a title of his own on his home turf.
"Every year the Nathan's hot dog contest is a big contest for me, but I think the Case's Pork Roll contest is a lot bigger just because I'm a New Jersey kid. In New Jersey, eating maybe the-most-New Jersey food there is in the state," he said.
Cincotti won't have long to digest the nearly 10 pounds of pork roll he ate over the weekend. In two weeks he said he is supposed to head up to Toronto to compete in a poutine eating contest. The goal once he gets north of the border, he said, is to top the 23 pounds of the gravy and cheese layered French fry treat he ate last year. And while he said he's not going to have pork roll "anytime soon," Cincotti said he's not nearly done with it either.
"I'm going to keep it in my daily diet only because of being from New Jersey I grew up on it so I've got to keep eating it," he said.
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