6 Belly-Busting Food Challenges From Across The World

Does dipping, dunking or chipmunking ring any bells? Or how about the names Joey Chestnut, Takeru Kobayashi and Don Lerman, do they mean anything to you? If so, then you might just be familiar with the surreal ‘sport’ of competitive eating. And if not, allow us to initiate you.

Hotdogs, hamburgers and pizzas; if you can think of a food, there’s probably going to be a competition somewhere in the world offering reward, glory and adulation to whomever can eat it the quickest. Running the gluttony gauntlet these days is big business, and if you’ve got an appetite, it could be you cashing in.

From hotdogs to nettles, we’ve picked six of the best across the globe for you to test your mettle against.

Hot Dogs – Coney Island, USA

Since 1916 Americans have been competing in Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Qualifiers are held through the year at the ‘Nathan’s Famous’ restaurant chain locations, with the grand finale held every July 4th in Coney Island, NY. Joey Chestnut is the current world record holder after eating a whopping 69 hot dogs and buns in just 10 minutes. Now that’s what we call fast food.

Snails – Portarlington, Ireland

Ireland’s Portarlington may seem like an unlikely host for a snail eating competition but their Gallic heritage dates back to the 17th century. Previously known as the Paris of the Midlands, every July the town celebrates its French roots with an annual festival featuring the Snail Eating Championships. Down thirty escargot in the fastest time for snail slurping glory. Top tip: Don’t chew!

Meat Pies – Wigan, UK

The award for best food contest goes to Harry’s Bar in Wigan. Why? Well, they not only hold an annual pie eating contest, and who doesn’t love a pie? But they’ve only gone and named their prize The Bradley Piggins trophy. It’s got to be worth giving this pie fest a go for that alone. Speed is the name of the game in this pastry-based battle of the bellies. Chomp to victory (and Bradley Piggins heroism) by eating a single pie in the quickest time.

Yorkshire Puddings – Thailand

Somehow Yorkshire’s finest export, the Yorkshire pudding, has navigated its way to Thailand and become the dish of choice for the annual eating contest at ‘The Pub’. Described as an ‘elegant British drinking room’, the expat run drinking establishment is an oasis of ale and Sunday roasts in the busy Thai city of Chiang Mai. You’ve got a whole hour to scoff as many puds as you can. The record stands at a seemingly low 25 – challenge accepted.

Nettle Eating – Dorset, UK

Remember the infuriatingly painful and itchy sting when you brush past a stinging nettle? Now imagine eating not just one leaf, but yards of the prickly pests. Brave contestants line up for the challenge every year at The Bottle Inn, Dorset, in a gruelling hour long feat of suffering and endurance. Ouch. Don’t forget to pack a dock leaf or two if you’re bold enough to step up to the stingers.

Chicken Wings – Philadelphia, USA

Buffalo wings are delicious; we are all agreed on that. Devouring a bucket of wings, with the sauce and grease covering your face and fingers is almost a rites of passage scenario when you find yourself in New York. However, where most mortals can stop at 10, Patrick Bertoletti went a little further at the 2015 Wing Bowl by demolishing 444 in 30 minutes. If you’re game to give that a crack, why not get some handy tips from the champ himself?