Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Deep Fried Asparagus - Sockton, CA 4/26/08

Deep Fried Aspragus Results

10 minute contest (IFOCE Rank in Parenthesis):

1 - Joey Jaws Chestnut (1) - 8.8 lbs.,$1500
2 - Pat Deep Dish Bertoletti (2) - 7.14 lbs., $750
3 - Erik the Red Denmark (12) - 4.75 lbs., $500
4 - Juris Dr Big Time Shibayama (17) - 4.5 lbs.
5 - Jason Erbivore Erb (34) - 3.5 lbs.
6 - Nasty Nate Biller (30) - 3.25 lbs.
7 - David Brickhouse Braunstein (32) - ?

The contest was very close despite what the final totals were reported as. Somehow the plates did not all get counted accurately for Pat and Joey because the between them was probably one asparagus spear in the end. The placings for the contest were all the same so really it doesn't matter that much except for the fact that maybe record Joey set last year of 8.6 lbs. was likely not broken this year as was reported. Each 1 pound plate had about 8 deep fried spears on it (see pic below). Assuming each one weighed about 2 oz. Joey finished 8 lbs. and 2 spears (probably around 8.3 lbs. total), Pat finished 8 lbs. and 1 spear (probably around 8.1 lbs. total). Juris and I were very close throughout the contest and the difference came down to the final stuff. I had 1 spear left on my 5th lb., Juris had 3 spears left on his 5th lb. (see below).

The pic below are my plates and what was left of my 5th lb:

The next pic are Juris' plates and what was left of his 5th lb.:

This year's asparagus were huge!! The asparagus at the festival in Stockton are always larger than the normal ones you buy at the grocery store, but apparently they had a really good stock this season so there were no cheap ones in the contest. This made for a tougher contest than last year due to the fact that last year there was some plates with smaller and thinner asparagus, which are much faster and easier to chew and swallow. But overall, this contest is a challenge because of how hard you have to work your jaws the whole contest or else you will be stuck trying to swallow stringy chunks of asparagus which can be easy to gag on. I think every swallow during the contest is a challenge but especially the last 4 or 5 minutes when jaws start to tire, almost every swallow invokes a gag reflex.

You can see the huge size of this year's stock below:

Despite the difficult eating conditions the weather was unbelievable - 90 degrees and not too humid. This was a shock to my Seattle native system where last week it snowed here in Seattle. Yeah, a lot of people have a depression problem here in Seattle and yes I guess people do commit suicide a lot in Seattle (especially famous people) as well. But the weather is not that bad really in Seattle, I think people get too carried away with that excuse. Anyway, with the amazing weather and the huge swarms of people at the festival in Stockton I definitely felt like the eating season was finally underway this past weekend. I am pumped to continue now and hopefully put up some more big numbers and be peaking in July.

Click Here to view all of my pics from Stockton

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Asparagus Results:

1 - Joey
2 - Pat
3 - Erik
4 - Juris
5 - Erb
6 - Nate
i need to get official totals but Joey ate over 8

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Eating Asparagus Again in Stockton

This weekend I will make the venture once again to the Stockton Asparagus festival to compete in the deep fried asparagus eating contest. This contest is definitely one of my favorites because the venue is great, they keep improving the stage, and the food is unique and interesting. This will be my third year in Stockton. The deep fried asparagus are a stuff and clear food. They have a medium layer of breading but dunking in water does no good because the fried breading does not really absorb water. The asparagus are larger than normal and can be challenging to break apart because of their "stringyness". So this is a relatively high technique food, the volume of liquid intake is huge and jaw stregth is paramount to be successful.

My first year in Stockton I put away 4 pounds and finished 5th, which for me at that time was a big accomplishment. Last year I came off a long layover with virtually no eating practice and finished second to Joey with 4.25 pounds. I can do much better. I am excited and optimistic about my chances this weekend. If not to win, at least to prove that I can hang in asparagus and demolish my previous PR. Despite the fact that both Joey and Pat will be there, I think since this is a food that likely will not go to food capacity, I have a chance to stay close for most of the contest. Maybe I am dillusional but I am going in with an open mind.

For those interested, I will post the results on my site (as usual) right after the contest via my cell phone.