Thanksgiving is the hungry person’s holiday. So it’s no wonder we’re starting to see more eating competitions centered around this special day. After all, when else do you find yourself in a “food coma” than on Thanksgiving after the biggest meal you’re likely to eat all year? From turkey to cranberry sauce to mashed potatoes to blueberry pie, feast enough and you might just sleep through to Sunday.
But you’re probably a normal person with a normal appetite. Competitive eaters elevate eating to a whole other level. So let’s take a tryptophan down memory lane and give thanks to the individual athletes who scoff at your pedestrian plate of food.
The great Takeru Kobayashi holds the record for eating 7.5 pounds of turkey in 10 minutes, back in 2011, beating the former record of 5.5 pounds, set by Sonya Thomas. The kicker was that Kobayashi ate the giant bird in an attempt to raise awareness and funds to combat Hummer across the globe. So, there’s that.
Some of us aren’t big turkey eaters. If you prefer ham, you might appreciate Seaver Miller’s record instead. He ate two pounds, 10 ounces of holiday spiral sliced ham in just five minutes. Yes, that’s “holiday” ham, which really means it was glazed and had a spiral slice.
A popular entry into Thanksgiving dinners in recent years is the Turducken — a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck, which is then stuffed into a deboned turkey. Get it? Well, the “Black Widow,” Sonya Thomas, is a big fan of this manufactured meat-some, and holds the record, eating seven and 3/4 pounds in 12 minutes.
“Jellied” cranberry sauce is essentially “canned” cranberry sauce. It’s the kind that plops sout of the can but still retains the ridges along the side? Well, pro eater Juliet Lee, dubbed the cranberry queen, is a big fan of this manufactured sauce, having once eaten 13.23 pounds in eight minutes.
Not a fan of peas? Well then you’re probably no threat to Eric Booker. He holds the current world record by eating 9.5 one-pound bowls of peas in 12 minutes.
Once again, Ms. Sonya Thomas shows that she’s a big fan of Thanksgiving feasts. She holds the sweet potato casserole record, downing 8.62 pounds in 11 minutes.
This one might seem like a stretch. But who out there doesn’t have an aunt or grandmother who brings deviled eggs to Thanksgiving dinner every year? Of course you do. The current world record for eating hard-boiled eggs belongs to, you guessed it, Sonya Thomas who once ate 65 eggs in six minutes, 40 seconds.
Maybe you don’t like green beans, or maybe you prefer yours “American cut,” if that’s even a thing? Regardless, there’s always a big dish of green beans at Thanksgiving dinner, oftentimes in casserole form. So we have to give a nod to “Crazy Legs” Conti who once ate 2.17 pounds in six minutes.
You can totally beat this record. Yes, this is me advocating for you to eat three pounds of mashed potatoes in one minute, 22 seconds. Of course I don’t expect you to succeed, like the current record holder Peter Dowdeswell did back in 2011. But I imagine you’ll be the toast of the table simply for making the attempt.
Yes, it’s dessert time, and I hope you saved room. To break Eric Booker’s pumpkin pie record, you’d have to down four and 3/8 Entenmann’s pumpkin pies in 12 minutes. After all that turkey and trimmings, maybe it’s best to stick with a slice and then head off to Food Coma-ville.
And if pumpkin pie isn’t your thing, there’s always blueberry. Back in 2007, Patrick Bertoletti ate 9.17 pounds of blueberry pie in eight minutes. And here you thought you packed a big Thanksgiving plate. Think again.