America’s Tastiest Food Eating Competitions Slideshow
Located in St. Petersburg, Florida Nitally’s Thai Mex Cuisineis home to one of the country’s spiciest food competitions: The Inferno Soup Challenge. With rules that include “You must be of sound mind to compete,” this soup is no joke. Loaded with Ghost Peppers, (so hot that India has contemplated using them as weapons), this 48-ounce bowl of soup is filled with noodles, chicken, and vegetables. The prize is $800 if you can finish the entire bowl.
Perhaps the best-known eating competition in the country, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest draws throngs of viewers each year to Coney Island on the fourth of July. For the first time ever, Nathan’s featured a women’s competition as well this year. Sonya Thomas claimed the first women’s champion title with 40 hot dogs and buns while food-eating legend Joey Chestnut returned to win his fifth consecutive title with 62.
Taking place at “America’s Oldest Oktoberfest,” the World Bratwurst Eating Championship returns on September 17th. Contestants are facing off against Joey Chestnut’s winning record of 42 brats in 10 minutes. Competing for cash prizes totaling up to $3,000, this “brat pack” (we couldn’t help ourselves) of competitors is surely a sight to see.
Food champs from around the world will descend on Texas on September 24th to eat as many tamales as they possibly can in the World Tamale Eating Championship, as part of the Western Days Festival in Lewisville. Facing off against last year’s world record of 59 tamales in 12 minutes, contestants are up against 2010 champ Tim “Eater X” Janus and are competing for a cash prize, totaling $3,500.
Billed as a “family environment” by Jacksonville’s Chamber of Commerce, the Wing Ding Festival hosts the annual Wing Eating Championship, which saw more than 100 pounds of wings consumed last year. According to Major League Eating, wing eating contests are such a thrill to watch because they showcase true competitive eating “technique” and skill; wings separate the men from the mice. Head down to Arizona on October 1st to get in on all the action.
Down at the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans every mid-April, the Acme Oyster Eating World Championship brings a whole new level to the world of competitive eating. Consuming each oyster with a fork, as per Major League Eating rules, Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas (who won this year) set the world record in 2005 at 46 dozen oysters in 10 minutes, nearly eating an oyster per second.
Now in it’s sixth year, the Best in the West Nugget World Rib-Eating Championship draws some big name competitors to Sparks, Nevada. Competing for a total cash prize of $5,000, viewers can expect to see their favorite competitive eating icons, like Joey Chestnut who is a three time rib-eating winner. His world record of 9.8 pounds of meat in 12 minutes earned him last year’s title and set the bar higher for all future contestants.
Featured on a July episode of “Man V. Food,” The Comfy Cow Sundae Challenge is no walk in the park. Featuring 15 scoops of ice cream and 6 jugs full of toppings including maraschino cherries and chopped nuts, this challenge gives you one hour to eat the entire dish. You are allowed to stretch your legs during the challenge, but obviously, no throwing up. Winners, and there has been only one to date, receive a T-shirt and have their picture featured on the Wall of Fame, while losers must submit their image to the Wall of Shame
Now in it’s second year, New Jersey’s Buffalo’s Chicken Shack’s Annual Spicy Wing Challenge did not disappoint. On August 27, 2011 Marcos “The Monster” Owens downed 46 wings in 7 minutes to become the champion and reigning “Buffalo King”. Featuring their homemade “Numb Ya Face” spicy sauce recipe, these wings are perfect for diners (and competitive eaters) who love feeling like their face is burning off.
The 30” Pizza Challenge at Luigi’s at the Beach in San Diego is a great date spot. (Though probably not for a first date.) This competition allows a pair to complete the giant pizza together… if they can. The rules are simple: just finish the pizza in one hour with no breaks or throwing up and you could be the 35th winner on the Wall of Fame at Luigi’s. Reminds us of the old adage – the couple that competitively eats 30” of pizza together, stays together.