Nathan's 93rd annual Hot Dog Eating Contest

Friday, July 4, 2008

While unlikely to be a favoured event among gourmets, Nathan's annual Hot Dog Eating Contest is the biggest event on the Competitive Eating ciruit and it kicks off at noon today Coney Island Brooklyn. Originating at the same spot on the same day in 1916 when 4 immigrants decided to settle who was the most patriotic on who could eat the most hotdogs in 10 minutes. Today the 93rd event will be watched by +30,000 people live and and 1.5million viewers at home. All eyes will be on reigning champ, 24 year old Joey "Jaws" Chestnut and his rival and 6 time former champion Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi who no doubt is eager to reclaim the title. While no more than a novelty to most and unlikely to become an olympic sport anytime soon, these 'eateletes' take their jobs very seriously and follow rigorous training schedules and diets. Chestnut fasts and stretches his stomach by drinking enormous quantities of milk and water, while Kobayashi weight trains to increase metabolism and eats larger and larger amounts of food followed by exercise to prevent fat gain which can impede gurgitation on such mammoth proportions. Between the two of them they hold some impressive and interesting records

66 hotdogs (and buns) in 12 minutes
47 Grilled Cheese Sanwiches in 10 minutes
8.8lbs of fried asparagus
9.4 lbs of pulled pork in 10 minutes


57 Cow brains in 15 mins

58 Bratwurst sausages in 15 mins

While I cannot see where the joy of food comes into such competition, it certainly makes for compulsive watching, and these guys certainly have their techniques down to a fine art. Here is a clip of the boys in action this day last year.

I wish them both well but I certainly don’t envy them. And for the gamblers amongst you, I’d put my money on Kobayashi looking to reclaim the title, dont let his size put you off.

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