There’s something about the quest for a world record that brings out the wackier side of our nature. Records in sports are impossible to achieve unless you’re a world-class professional athlete, but food-related records are seemingly attainable as long as you’re willing to put a lot of work into it. And from creating the world’s largest pizza to eating the most Swedish meatballs in one minute, there are some wild food feats out there. We’ve rounded up 30 of them, ranked according to level of outrageousness.
While most of us might not ever get the chance to break a record, almost everyone enjoys being the best in their circle at something. It’s validating to be the go-to person when a circumstance arises; whether it's in an athletic, intellectual, or even culinary arena. Who doesn’t want people begging them to be on their trivia or recreational team, or have their friends and family petition for a certain dish to make an appearance at a potluck?
It’s assuring to be recognized, even unofficially, for your skill at a particular niche. But some won’t settle for local renown, they need recognition on a global scale. Thanks to Guinness, there are now countless categories in which one can officially attempt to claim a world record. The pursuit of a record can take years of dedication and sacrifice (and in some cases massive amounts of ingredients). And while some of these undertakings might seem trivial, there’s a world of admiration and respect due to the unwavering investment it takes to be the best.
To assemble our list of some of the most extraordinary and eccentric culinary-based records, we culled the catalog of Guinness World Records. From consumption to creation, from the inspiring to the entertaining, these might not all be your cup of tea (the largest is 4,000 liters, by the way), but there’s no doubting that behind each record is a whole lot of ingenuity and creativity, and possibly just a little bit of insanity.
We divided our ranking into two separate slideshows: Eating Challenges and Extreme Foods. For Eating Challenges, we took a look at some lesser-known eating records, like the number of worms eaten in 30 seconds and most hard-boiled eggs peeled and eaten in 30 seconds. Along with “most eaten in a set period of time” records, we also included “fastest eaten” as well.
As for Extreme Foods, we tracked down not only the largest versions of familiar foods ever created, like world’s largest sandwich and world’s largest omelette, but also some that you might not have even realized had records, like most scoops of ice cream balanced on a cone, as well as the world's hpttest chili pepper.
Records were made to be broken, so we acknowledge that not all of these records will last forever, and new ones are being created all the time (for example, later this month Philadelphia cream cheese will be attempting to break the world record for world’s largest cheesecake, at 6,000 pounds, with a diameter of 8 feet and thickness of 20 inches!) But we have a strong feeling that some of these, like most worms eaten in 30 seconds, won't be broken any time soon.
Click the links above to learn all about 30 record-breaking food feats.