Hot dogs aren’t the only things competitive eaters race to inhale every year. Here’s a look back at 10 of the season’s most outrageous all-you-can-eat competitionsBy: Angela Kwan
There’s nothing more patriotic than celebrating Independence Day at Coney Island, watching fellow Americans (and a few foreigners) vie for the title of Hot Dog Eating World Champion. This year’s 96th annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest marks the first time women and men will compete in separate divisions, each with $20,000 in cash—and a Mustard Yellow Belt—up for grabs. In the spirit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of gluttony, we’ve highlighted triumphs from the 2010-2011 season of eating events (yes, people competitively gorge themselves year-round). Read on to learn the scary truth about what’s been consumed at all-you-can-eat contests across the country.
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Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti ate 7.5 pounds of fried catfish in 10 minutes at the Rhythm City World Catfish Eating Championship in Davenport, IA, last March. Talk about cat got your tongue!
The damage: About 7,791 calories; 4,538 g total fat
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Joey “Jaws” Chestnut had no problem getting his fill of veggies on April 16, 2011. He ate 9 pounds 5.2 ounces of fried asparagus in 10 minutes at the Stockton Asparagus Festival in California.
The damage: 3,170 calories; 283 g fat
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There’s nothing cute or dainty about watching a 34-year-old man devour 42 vanilla cupcakes smothered in vanilla buttercream frosting in 8 minutes. That’s exactly how Timothy Janus, otherwise known as Eater X, set a new record at the Isle Waterloo World Cupcake Eating Championship in Waterloo, NY, last April.
The damage: 5,502 calories; 67 g total fat
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Patrick Bertoletti must have worked up a sweat to win this year’s La Costeña Feel the Heat Jalapeño Eating Championship in San Antonio. The victor noshed on 275 pickled jalapenos in 8 minutes—and lived to tell the tale.
The damage: About 1,634 calories; 55 g total fat
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Patrick Bertoletti swallowed 9 pounds of boneless wings in 10 minutes at the Isle Boonville World Boneless Buffalo Wing Eating Championship in Boonville, MO, last May.
The damage: About 8,613 calories; 517 g total fat
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A Zeus-like appetite may have helped Joey Chestnut win the Niko Niko’s World Gyro Eating Championship in Houston this past May. The mere mortal spent 10 minutes devouring 21.5 eight-ounce gyros—traditionally made with chopped lamb and beef, tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce.
The damage: About 11,760 calories; 599 g total fat
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Watch out, Jared. Subway has a new fan. It took Joey Chestnut only 10 minutes to gobble 23 six-inch Subway Philly Cheesesteaks at the World CheeseSteak Eating Championship at Dorney Park in Allentown, PA, in May.
The damage: 11,960 calories; 414 g total fat
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Patrick Bertoletti collects competitive eating championships the way the IRS collects taxes. At this year’s Ribfest in Chicago, he chowed down on 5.24 pounds of baby back ribs from Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro in 8 minutes. He broke his own record from 2010, when he ate 4.26 pounds of ribs.
The damage: About 7,556 calories; 588 g total fat
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On July 4, 2010, Joey Chestnut scarfed down 54 hot dogs with buns in 10 minutes. But he was still 15 wieners shy of beating the world record—68 dogs—which he set at the 2009 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island. (Sonya Thomas holds the women’s record for eating 41 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes in 2009.)
The damage: 16,038 calories; 972 g total fat
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Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas is in a league of her own. The 43-year-old was the only woman in 2010 to win a competition sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Finishing 181 wings in 12 minutes, she brought home first place at the U.S. National Buffalo Wing Eating Championship in Buffalo, NY, last September. Our money’s on her to win the women’s competition at Coney Island this year.
About 11,041 calories; 664 g total fat
Who do you think will win at Coney Island? Leave your comments below.
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