Eat Your Way Through America: 50 States in 50 Food Challenges
Eating competitions have been ingrained in food culture for centuries -- TIME reports that a collection of thirteenth-century Norse myths describe an eating contest between the god Loki and his servant. Organized competitive eating contests are newer, most likely beginning in 1916 with the very first Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest at Coney Island.
But competitive eating isn't the only type of rivalry. There's also food challenges, which have been around at least , when Crown Candy Kitchen opened in St. Louis, Missouri. The establishment's milkshake challenge calls for customers to drink five 24-ounce milkshakes or malts in less than half an hour. Talk about a brain freeze. While a few other restaurants offered food challenges as well, the phenomenon didn't take off exponentially until Man v. Food aired on the Travel Channel in 2008 -- host Adam Richman visited three U.S. restaurants in every episode, tasting food at the first two and participating in a food challenge at the third.
Check out this interactive infographic to learn about 50 food challenges in the 50 states and maybe even plan a road trip to compete at your favorites.