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Slam Dunk Food Competitions

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BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: French fries from a fast food outlet is seen on January 7, 2013 in Bristol, England. A government-backed TV advert - made by Aardman, the creators of Wallace and Gromit - to promote healthy eating in England, is to be shown for the first time later today. England has one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe - costing the NHS 5 billion GDP each year - with currently over 60 percent of adults and a third of 10 and 11 year olds thought to be overweight or obese.

Photo Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

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Some foods are just meant to be dipped. What would french fries be without ketchup? Or buffalo chicken wings without blue cheese or ranch dressing? The answer: less than perfect.

Tailgaters and sports fan are quite familiar with dunking foods (and dunking, for that matter). And it’s no surprise that competitive eaters consume them to excess; that’s what competitive eating is all about.

So get out you wet wipes and line up the dipping sauces, Tailgate Fan is about to look at a different kind of dunking competition. These finger-licking food accomplishments will have your mouth watering.

Chicken Champions

A delicious, lean protein source, chicken is often best served deep-fried as fingers, wings or nuggets. Three chicken champs — competitive eaters Patrick Bertoletti, Joey Chestnut and Sonya Thomas — make chickens (and chefs) shake with fear. Bertoletti currently holds the world record for boneless chicken wings, eating 9 pounds of them in 10 minutes back in 2007. Chestnut took down 7.61 pounds of regular chicken wings in 12 minutes and 182 wings in 30 minutes. Black Widow Thomas ate 80 chicken nuggets in only 5 minutes. Never mind the fox, protect that chicken coup from these people.

PHILADELPHIA - FEBRUARY 3:  Joey Chestnut (R) of San Jose, California eats some of his 173 Buffalo Wings to win Wing Bowl 14 at the Wachovia Center February 3, 2005 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 10,000 spectators gathered to watch the buffalo wing eating contest. Wing Bowl started 14 years ago when a Philadelphia radio personality came up with the idea as an alternative to the Superbowl because he believed the Philadelphia Eagles would never again make it to the Superbowl.

Joey Chestnut (Photo Credit: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

Deep-Fried Deliciousness

There’s something about deep frying a food that makes it perfect for a dipping sauce. It might be the saltiness or the combination of hot food and cold sauce. It could be the magical union of flavors mixing in your mouth. We vow to eat as much food as possible in search of the answer. Cookie Jarvis must be a kindred spirit; he holds multiple french fries/pomme frites records. Jarvis ate two pounds and nine ounces of pomme frites in eight minutes and 4.46 pounds of Nathan’s Famous crinkle fries in six minutes. Fellow competitor Bob Shoudt ate 7.9 pounds of Curley’s french fries in 10 minutes back in 2010. Of course, eating champion Joey Chestnut shows up again in the record books, having eaten 118 cream cheese-stuffed, deep-fried peppers in just 10 minutes.

Dipping Not Required

Some foods can go either way. Nigiri sushi, for example, is not required to be dunked in soy sauce, but it sure tastes good when it is. It might even be better. Who are we to judge? Tim Janus ate 141 pieces of nirgiri sushi in just six minutes. Another treat that’s perfect when dipped in soy sauce is Japanese gyoza. Last year, newcomer Matt Stonie ate 268 gyoza in just 10 minutes. Mexican flautas don’t require salsa or guacamole, but a quick dunk into either will have your taste buds singing. In 2009, Ben Monson ate 65 flautas in just 10 minutes.

When you think about it, so many wonderful treats become a bit lackluster without their dipping partners. A good dip can be the centerpiece of pretty much any snacking option. An while we might undervalue the role a good dip plays in bringing a meal together, we can’t deny that dunking food is a sport everyone can enjoy.

Read about Competitive Eating.

Stop in at the Man Cave Daily, where the women are hot and the beer is cold.

Alli Sands is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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