NEW YORK - JULY 4: Joey Chestnut of San Jose, California (C) and Takeru Kobayashi of Nagano, Japan (R) stuff hot dogs into their mouths during Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest on July 4, 2009 in Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chestnut defeated Kobayashi with eating 68 to his 64.5 hotdogs. Kobayashi won six previous competitions before tying last year with Chestnut. Photo Credit: Yana Paskova/Getty Images
Let’s be honest. Competitive eating isn’t a sport for the weak-willed or feint of heart. Most people probably do not have what it takes to be a Joey Chestnut or Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas. That doesn’t mean you can’t attend any number of food competitions held across the country every year. Here’s the 2014 list of the five must-see competitive eating events.
Stockton Asparagus Festival World Deep-Fried Asparagus-Eating Competition April 26, 2014
We’ll skip over all of the obvious jokes about bad-smelling bathrooms following this competition and look at this as the agricultural consumption feat it is. To be hosted in Stockton, California on April 26, this year’s Deep-Fried Asparagus Eating Competition will be highly scrutinized, as newcomer Matt Stonie captured the world record (9.5 pounds) in 2013 and the former record holder, Joey Chestnut, is ready to reclaim his title. Who knew asparagus could create such intrigue?
National Sweet Corn-Eating Challenge April 27, 2014
Hopefully you didn’t fill up on asparagus, because it’s time to hop a plane to West Palm Beach, Florida to catch the National Sweet Corn-Eating Competition. For years, competitors have attended the Sweet Corn Festival to participate in the corn consumption challenge. Last year, Bob Shoudt cleared 35 cobs of Florida corn. However, the world record holds steady from 2010, when Joe LaRue downed 46 ears of corn. Will someone push past 50 cobs of corn? Only time will tell.
The Eastern Shore Wing War May 11, 2014
In 2013, Joey Chestnut emerged victorious at The Eastern Shore Wing War, eating 208 wings in 12 minutes. It probably helps that he also eats the bones. Who has time to pick around for the meat when there are more chicken wings to eat? No one knows for certain how events will transpire this year. But on May 11 in Salisbury, Maryland, eating champs will gather to sort it all out.
Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest July 4, 2014
Entering its 98th year, this Coney Island tradition is probably the best known food-eating competition, and for good reason. Every 4th of July at noon, 50,000 people gather at the original Nathan’s Famous at the intersection of Surf and Stillwell Avenues to watch 20 eaters compete for the Mustard Belt. For the finest in competitive eating, book a trip to Brooklyn, New York for the 4th of July.