El AL Israel Airlines is celebrating Purim by hosting the second annual National Hamantaschen Eating Championship on Feb. 24 at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York City.
Competitors participating in the holiday event, run by All Pro Eating, will have five minutes to devour as many hamantaschen (triangle-shaped pastries traditionally eaten on Purim, a festive Jewish holiday marked by food and drink gift-giving) as possible for the chance to win a roundtrip flight to Israel.
Contestants will devour hundreds of kosher apricot and raspberry hamantaschen provided by Borenstein Caterers, which provides the meals for all EL AL flights departing from JFK and Newark International airports.
All Pro Eating’s top independent competitive eater in the world, Jamie "The Bear" McDonald, who won 65 eating championships last year, will be competing. If McDonald beats last year’s record set by Will "The Champ" Millender, who ate 25 hamantaschen in five minutes, he will win a roundtrip ticket to Israel.
In addition, non-pros will compete against each other for the grand prize of a roundtrip ticket to Israel from New York (JFK/Newark) or Los Angeles in a separate competition. But if the grand prize winner eats more that the professional winner, he or she will win a second round-trip ticket to Israel. Second and third place winners will receive vouchers toward future flights for $500 and $250, respectively. Last year’s non-pro record was set by Rob "The Hebrew Hammer" Wizenberg, who devoured 14 hamantaschen in five minutes.
Non-professional eaters interested in participating can sign-up through Feb. 19 on the EL AL USA Facebook page.
Lauren Mack is the Special Projects Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.