Every year hundreds of eating competitions are held around the world. While some involve eating copious amounts of food, such as pies and hamburgers, others are a bit more obscure, like munching on creepy crawling insects or stinging nettles. The Phuket News looks at some of the more unusual ones.
Insect Eating Competition in Vienna, Austria
Live maggots, cockroaches, grasshoppers, scrapers and worms were on offer for competitors during an insect eating competition that took place in a shopping mall in Vienna.
Mall owner Richard Lugner said he got the idea to hold a competition when he saw his former wife on a German television game show, where she was forced to eat live grasshoppers.
The winner of the competition was a “Mister Gerhard” who said the insects were “tasteful delicacies”.
“Only the shells of some little animals were annoying,” he said.
Mr Gerhard won the competition after a woman vomited and was unable to finish eating the worms.
World Stinging Nettle Eating Championships, Dorset, Britain.
Competitors have one hour to eat as many stinging nettle plants as their stomach and mouth can handle.
Each competitor is served two-foot-long stalks of nettles from which they must pluck and devour the leaves. The bare stalks are then measured and the winner, after an hour of combat, is the one with the greatest accumulated length. The event is limited to 65 competitors every year.
“They taste totally foul, and everything comes out bright green for a few days afterwards,’’ shrugged Simon Slee, 48, the reigning world record holder with 76 feet.
Jalapeno Eating Championship Challenge, Texas, USA.
The annual jalapeno eating competition in Texas attracts hundreds of competitors each year. In 2008, Pat Bertoletti took out the title by consuming an astonishing 275 jalapenos. After the competition, contestants gulp down Pepto Bismol, an American liquid to relieve an upset stomach.
World Catfish Eating Championship, Iowa, USA.
American man Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti ate 3.4kg of fried catfish in 10 minutes during the annual world catfish eating competition in Iowa, setting himself his 31st world record this year.
Last year, he also took out the title at the Rocky Mountain Oyster (deep fried bull testicles) Eating World Championship in Colorado. He ate 1.6kg of the delicacy.
Sushi Eating Competition, Suzhou, China
Every year contestants from all around Asia and the world travel to Suzhou, in the eastern province of Jiangsu. Competitors often eat well over 150 pieces of sushi in the competition.