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If you were to compete in an eating contest, what would your "weapon of choice" be?

I know most of us consider speed eating, or "who can eat the most," contests to be gauche and beneath that of a Chowhound.

But let's say you were to compete in one those eating contests, what would you want your competitive raison d'etre to be?

Hot dogs?

Ice cream?


Something else? What?

I think my weapon of choice would be granola, as long as I could have as much water as I needed.


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  1. I'd probably be a worthy competitor for ice cream (high quality, simple flavors like vanilla or chocolate -- ice cream without stuff in it...). Maybe McDonald's fries or chicken nuggets. Maybe s'mores -- I am a s'mores fiend when out camping and friends are appalled at how much sugar I can handle if they haven't seen me eat s'mores before.

    I don't think I could do the hot dog or pizza thing. Probably not ramen either, although I do enjoy me a deliciously salty bag of ramen on occasion, with tabasco and an egg stirred in. I rarely eat any of those items quickly or to excess.

    3 Replies
    1. re: calmossimo

      I can eat a ton of cold pizza and meatballs and pasta dishes. Just not hot.

      1. re: calmossimo

        Salty bag of ramen? So it sounds like you've never tried the real stuff that doesn't come out of a bag. I think if you did, you might change your mind about adding ramen to the list of things you would want to stuff yourself with.

        1. re: Bkeats

          Nah... I've had ramen shop ramen before, and although it's delicious, I don't think I could handle enough of it as part of an eating contest.

      2. guilt? a powerful emetic?

        1. Iranian Caspian Sea beluga caviar. I may not win, but I would have a lot of fun in losing.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Veggo

            Outstanding Veggo...my fave too and I still have the tin...
            916 club

            King Crab legs
            Ahi rare
            Banana cream pie
            Filet O' Fish with extra tartar sauce with fries scrunched inside..
            ;- )

            1. re: Beach Chick

              Filet O' Fish with extra tartar sauce with fries scrunched inside..

              Now we're talking!

              1. re: ipsedixit

                yeah, i'll second the FOF and fries!

              2. re: Beach Chick

                Do I have to shell the crab cuz king crab can be a nasty wound if you're not careful. And shelling in a race, well, it smells of danger. If it is shelled and i have a smidge of butter its perfect for a throw down and I'll challenge you Beach Chick. I may lose, but so happy trying.

              3. re: Veggo

                veggo….he shoots; he scores.

              4. I'm pretty solid with pizza; I'd like to think I'd acquit myself well with such a foodstuff. That said, as long as there isn't a serious time burden ('cause I'm a slow picker), give me buckets of blue crabs and pitchers of beer. Preferably both, but I am more than willing to go toe-to-toe with anyone over either of them individually.

                1. I would eat something that I totally dislike. See, I was a professional competitive eater for two years and retired in 2007. I ate in several contests across the country and I can say that I've never once enjoyed the food that I've eaten at a contest. It was almost always the worst form of the food that I'd ever eaten. Grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken wings, tamales, hotdogs, pizza rolls, sliders - you name it, it was horrible. Everything is cold and has been sitting around since the morning or even the day before when it was prepared. Pizza? It's not only cold and low quality, but the cheese is waxy and it's been sitting since the morning so the crust is stale, hard, and dry. Tamales? Cold and sawdust-like. Chicken wings? Overcooked, tough, stringy, and straight from the fridge. I could go on, but you get the message.
                  If I were to ever eat again professionally, I'd choose something absolutely repulsing so it wouldn't seem as bad (I wouldn't have a point of reference for that food) and it wouldn't ruin the foods that I already know and love.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fledflew

                    how about butter? since that's normally good cold or warm, it'd be a snap. Also, eating a pound of it takes "barf tolerance" more than a big belly...

                  2. Ribs...pork spare ribs specifically. I closed out a Tony Roma's once. Ate the most ribs anyone there had ever seen. Bored my date to death, but dammit it was good!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Novelli

                      I entered a rib eating contest two years in a row. It was a benefit for MS research. You got pledges for each rib you ate, and people could also pledge at the contest. They were big beef ribs, from a really good bbq place in Santa Barbara. The first year, I really thought I had a chance of winning, and kept eating until I was absolutely so full I could hardly see. I think I managed 14 ribs. The guy who won ate over 20. I felt sick the entire rest of the day and had trouble sleeping that night. However, I was the only woman who had ever entered, so I got a lot of pledges on site.

                      So, the next year I entered again, but I didn't try to win. I stopped at 10 ribs (still a LOT of food) and ate slowly. I just told everyone that I asked to pledge to me that I would stop at 10, so they could budget accordingly. I still got lots of pledges on site and ended up earning a lot of money for research, and that time I had a good time and enjoyed the rest of my day. But I learned an important lesson: it's a very bad idea to eat all you can hold of anything.

                      1. re: Kathleen M

                        ooo, that sounds good! LOL

                        My count for pork spare ribs eaten in 1 sitting is 57. Granted, there's probably less meat on a sparerib than on a beef rib, but I'm willing to give it a shot! hahaha

                        Dammit! You went and made me hungry!

                        1. re: Novelli

                          Holy Smoke! I'll bet you would have won even with beef ribs. Let's say that one beef rib has about twice the meat of a pork rib, that still puts you way ahead of the champ. I moved away from Santa Barbara many years ago, so I don't know if the contest continues.

                    2. Steamed sliders; as in, White Castle burgers, and as much liquid (non-carbonated) as they'd allow me to have.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mamachef

                        I'd be stopping by White Castle for a snack on the way home after taking gold in this contest.

                      2. Oysters on the half shell

                        1. Cheese. Pounds and pounds of it.

                          1. sashimi - tuna or salmon
                            crab (with no time limit for picking) and beer to wash it down
                            little neck clams
                            cheese fries (can the calories just magically disappear?)
                            couldn't do tons of sweet, maybe ice cream

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: pie22

                              this past weekend i had fresh off the boat snow crab...i will edit my previous response to say, snow crab is the clear winner!

                              i could never do wings cause i get full after like 5 somehow.

                            2. Ice cream, without a doubt. Maybe milkshakes, as long as they were vanilla or chocolate. No crazy flavors.

                              1. Beans ... because I have a mean streak

                                4 Replies
                                  1. re: redfish62

                                    And when you were done, your underwear would too!

                                    1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                      redfish tosses up the ball.... and BBVL jams it in for the dunk!!

                                    2. Really, really hot wings . . . Really hot.

                                      1. Pecan pie
                                        Smokes spares
                                        Grilled fish
                                        Smoked brisket
                                        Chicken salad

                                        Those are all things I can.just eat until they are gone.
                                        Prolly nigiri too.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: gordeaux

                                          I would never win with pecan pie ... so sweet I usually can't finish a small piece.

                                          I would try cocktail shrimp or Doritos ...

                                          Maybe Swedish meatballs and noodles. Good ones ... this contest is sponsored by Chowhound, remember!

                                        2. most anything fish - oysters, crab, lobster - very tasty and doesnt fill me up.

                                          pizza - simply does not fill me up. Ate an 18'inch pizza once and i honestly could have eaten another one.

                                          the key is variety - eating the same thing over and over eventually wears the taste buds - and the mind - out. different tastes fools the brain into thinking you're not full.

                                          1. In no particular order, any one of these doggies:

                                            Cocktail Shrimp
                                            Scrambled Eggs
                                            Steamed Clams

                                            1. Deviled eggs. I can eat an ungodly number of them. or could, if I ever gave in to temptation.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: 2roadsdiverge

                                                Me too, although having seen Cool Hand Luke, I would not want to enter this contest.

                                                I think I can eat a pretty much infinite quantity of Tostitos. And Oreos, or even better, the Paul Newman version, Newman-O's. Once I put away half a bag of those things before reading the package and seeing that a single cookie has 65 calories. :-0

                                              2. Thin al dente spaghetti with red sauce or melted butter. No other pasta stand in.. Spaghetti or nothing. Bring it on.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: noodlepoodle

                                                  +1 - I absolutely love spaghetti! Red sauce, brown butter with mizithra and clam sauces. Definitely thin spaghetti as well. I'm just a pasta fanatic.

                                                2. As eating competitions are almost always about quantity, and seldom quality, I would not be involved.

                                                  Lots of mediocre, or bad food, does not equate to enjoyment for me. Others can have it. While they are scarfing down the quantity, I will be across the plaza, enjoying good food.



                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                    i'm sure poor quality is all that we were hoping for. NOT.

                                                    after all, hunt, this is a fantasy; my fantasy is FABULOUS food in my all-you-can-eat contest, thankyouverymuch!

                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                      Now, with pure fantasy, I would say that I could do well in an Apple-Infused Foie Gras (a la The Green House, Mayfair) "AYCE" contest. My Dr. might not like the results of my blood work, but with enough oat bran, I could possibly get things back in alignment.

                                                      OK, like your idea of fantasy.


                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                        Foie gras! What an inspired thought!! Now that is a contest I could possibly win, as so many people can't deal with the richness (or the thought of liver).

                                                  2. hands down: SHRIMP!

                                                    shrimp cocktail
                                                    shrimp scampi
                                                    fried shrimp

                                                    19 Replies
                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                      yum. i could partake in this, but not scampi or fried. maybe shrimp cocktail...without cocktail sauce. maybe with squirts of lemon and/or tabasco.

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        If I was doing shrimp (remember, this IS fantasy), I would choose Magnusen's House of Seafood Fried Gulf Shrimp. I would keep cleaning my plate, even with the tails, and likely win. Of course, Magnusen's closed over 40 years ago, but were the ultimate, by which all other fried shrimp shall forever be judged. Only Marquez Brothers, at Chef Pass, has ever come close.


                                                        I think that I might be warming to this fantasy contest!


                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                          hunt, fantasy is a congenial world. i try to visit often. ;-).

                                                          maybe i need to fry up some gulf shrimp today, and eat some REAL-LIFE shrimp.

                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                            Gulf fried shrimp is a good one, or speckled trout, or red snapper, all fried. Fried is good. How about half shell oysters, or oysters rocky-fella. I can put away some oysters. Back in the last century, say around 19 and 80, we had an all you can eat place in Houston serving high quality food until you burst. The boys and I open with six dozen raw oysters, each, followed by rockefeller, boiled shrimp, and fried shrimp. Dessert was good fried chicken and a biscuit, or more. I think they had cheesecake or something for classic dessert, but we focused on seafood and chicken, washed down with beer of course. Hunt, a bunch of fine wines would have been nice, but what can you expect from college kids? For the contest, it would have to be oysters rockefeller.

                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                          I've read this thread a couple times, and the thing that always sticks in my head is shrimp cocktail. If time is not a factor, then head and tail on peel-and-eat shrimp. With my own cocktail sauce.... I've got my recipe down! I could eat..... I don't know, it seems like my body weight in them, but I'm sure that isn't physically possible. :)

                                                          1. re: kubasd

                                                            i was a real hog on shrimp cocktail once at a good friend's wedding. there was a humongous tower of shrimp on ice -- i mean like 7 feet tall and 10 feet in circumference -- just huge. i hung out there for quite a while. of course, there were lots of other hors d'oeuvre, but i was still surprised how few people were eating the shrimp. so i tried to make up for them. haha. good thing there was salsa dancing later (but AFTER a five course meal!!!).

                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                              My computer is dead and im waiting for the new cord in the mail.... so im typing this response on my phone, lol. My college had date function weekends about every 6 weeks, and my favorite frat house always had this GIGANTIC mountain of spiced and steamed shrimp... i was so lucky theyre relatively healthy, lol

                                                              1. re: kubasd

                                                                yeah, i was pretty shameless. <snicker>

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  pal, I enjoyed a 14 year run at my golf tournament at TCC in Brookline, always arriving from distant and sometimes foreign origins. The Friday mens' dinner began with a coctail hour on the patio, with a raw bar. I camped out and ate about 100 little neck clams every year, as quickly as the shuckers could issue them. Everybody knew it was my once a year clam fix, and they allowed me a liberal assault. Nice memories among gentlemen. Chilled vodka shots nestled among the iced clams were a nice touch.

                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                    oh Veggo I would be so there alongside and elbowing you out of the way.

                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                      Veggo.... this sounds heavenly!!

                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                        camped out. that's the ticket!

                                                              2. re: alkapal

                                                                Yes. Boiled Shrimp. I could easily eat pounds of it. Seriously. I would eat it until I had Iodine poisoning. Is there a world record for shrimp eating?


                                                                1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                  4 pounds 15 ounces in 12 minutes
                                                                  Sept. 22, 2006 (pending review)
                                                                  Erik The Red Denmark

                                                                  1. re: 2roadsdiverge

                                                                    Haha! Thanks 2roads! I might be able to do 4lbs but not in 12 minutes!


                                                                    1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                      Yeah, it is the time component that makes the difference. I'll bet he doesn't even enjoy the shrimp!

                                                                2. re: alkapal

                                                                  I'm with you on shrimp. But I'd lose. I can't do grotesque volume.
                                                                  I did however win the ladies' division of a beer slugging contest many moons ago. I still have the t-shirt. Keepin' it classy!

                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                    You know, it seems like the more you post the more I dig you. Why does it not surprise me at all that you won. I couldn't be more proud. Five star to dive bar!

                                                                3. I wouldn't compete because I am a small amount eater in general.
                                                                  I used to eat my huge husband under the table and I was the smallest girl ever but now, my appetite, although I adore food, is way less than it used to be.

                                                                  I presume you're asking what a person's favorite food is though?

                                                                  1. Almond butter + berry jam sandwiches

                                                                    1. Lobster, lobster, lobster--bring 'em on!

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: KSlink

                                                                        I posted oysters rockefeller, and you bring out lobster, lobster, lobster.. I am torn and confused.

                                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                          ...and lobster makes me think of boiled crawfish.

                                                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                            It was all the shrimp talk that got me going--if there's one thing I love even more than shrimp, it has to be lobster....but then there are always clams......oh my!!! :0

                                                                            1. re: KSlink

                                                                              Then there are blue crabs, boiled, steamed, bbq, or SOFT SHELL.!!!!!!

                                                                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                Aw shucks, you had to bring that up...I wonder what time the fish market closes today???

                                                                      2. Sushi. I've been to a few ayce sushi places and I usually have to stop myself because I start to look like a glutton. Even though I've probably already had more than anyone sitting in the place, I could probably eat another 10 or 15 pieces when I quit.

                                                                        1. Taco Bell tacos. Taco Supremes, hard taco. Yup, could eat that until ill.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                            Jack in the box tacos...win hands down!

                                                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                              i LOVE those non-food things, LOVE THEM.

                                                                          2. Another vote for Alaskan king cab legs...cracked and ready for eating with lots of fresh lemon juice and clarified butter ready to dunk it in. Mmmmm....

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                I have a scissors just for king crab - makes it a breeze.

                                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                                  yes, i use some good kitchen shears. but i still need gloves -- those buggers are spiky.

                                                                            1. Definitely seafood, bivalves or crustaceans -- raw oysters, steamed shrimp, boiled crawfish..I get filled up pretty easily now that I'm in my dotage, but these foods never fill me up.

                                                                              Also, to second another poster, deviled eggs. I'd die a happy man.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Bob W

                                                                                Probably not too long after the contest... :)

                                                                              2. Ravioli. Plain, cheese ravioli -- I can eat a plate of these with sauce and still keep on going. With sauce, without sauce, just give me the stuffed ravioli.

                                                                                1. Ice cream- because immediately after finishing a bowl, I always desire some more. Same with pizza, I could eat infinite amounts haha!

                                                                                  1. Wait food has to be my weapon of choice, hmmm. I had at least 2-3 weapons picked out until I reread that it had to be food.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                                      Cute. What were they? You go get em!!

                                                                                    2. This is a toughie.

                                                                                      For a bland, uninspired response, I'll open with pizza. Papa John's, preferably. I ate an entire large by myself one day and felt that I could comfortably bulldoze through another immediately afterward. Thankfully I didn't further pursue that particular goal. This is my strictly utilitarian angle response, because carbs just don't fill me up. Thankfully I am of the low-carb persuasion!

                                                                                      Chinese buffet-style green beans.

                                                                                      Baked chicken. No light meat. Legs/thighs only. Skin on.

                                                                                      Pork spare ribs. No sauce.

                                                                                      Any of those, and I'd be good.

                                                                                      1. Deviled eggs, for sure. I can eat those until I pass out.

                                                                                        Or scrambled eggs.

                                                                                        Or poached eggs.

                                                                                        Basically, eggs.

                                                                                        1. Italian subs. Come at me, bro!

                                                                                            1. re: HeBrew

                                                                                              Me too. But the eggrolls from a place where I am that is long been closed where I live. I could eat this all day. There is a place near me that is somewhat decent and not those frozen travesties. I could wolf down fried dumplings too. Yum.

                                                                                              1. re: HeBrew

                                                                                                i haven't had a good egg roll in i don't know how long!

                                                                                              2. DD's Chocolate Iced Bismarks--
                                                                                                (only 390 calories each)!!

                                                                                                The time limit would be 1 minute.

                                                                                                1. Pancakes with butter and real maple syrup

                                                                                                  I can't seem to get enough pancakes!