15 minute contest
1 - Pat Deep Dish Bertoletti(2) - 266 peppers
2 - Sonya the Black Widow Thomas (5) - 170
3 - Erik the Red Denmark (12) - 147
4 - Pat Bruss (22) - 85
Pat knows how to celebrate with 14 Jack-in-the-Box tacos
fitting perfectly in his trophy and the Mexican flag draped
around his shoulders in the wake of his jalapeno victory
I Had a busy week, I finally got around to downloading my pics and reflecting on the contest. As I expected, this contest was a major test of both capacity and tolerance. The 15 minute length really becomes daunting around the 10 minute mark. I almost think that just as many peppers could be consumed in 8-10 minutes with the same format because the mental relief of knowing that you won't have to deal with the pain of every bite and risk reversal would allow you to eat at top possible speed. In any case Pat Bertoletti was going to win. It was apparent early on that Pat was in the lead.
They had the jalapenos soaking in gallon sized zip lock bags of 50. The jalapenos varied in size greatly but the consistency of each bag was a good mix of small and large peppers. They poured two bags of 50 jalapenos in to a large bowl in front of each eater to start the contest. Everyone had to keep their stems in the La Costena can in front of them to keep track of your pepper count. If you ate the whole pepper and the stem, well you were screwed. Fortunately I only ate the stem on a few peppers, most notably my first pepper, I was so pumped up that I stuck the whole thing in my mouth and wasted a few seconds trying to fish out the stem.
The contest proved to me once again that this is the greatest test of jalapeno eating on the circuit and potentially in the country anywhere. La costena has proven that they are the clear choice for jalapenos in America. The only thing that bothered me about the contest was that the 3-12 ounce liquid restriction was not enforced because the MLE people thought it might be a problem if people started to choke late in the contest and they were out of liquid. I totally disagree with this evaluation, there could have been liquids near by and if you happened to choke you could use them and be disqualified. But, regardless I don't think the outcome would have changed.
I ended up drinking 13.5 ounces of iced tea and about 16 ounces of Crystal Light during the contest. Despite my determintation to be the best jalapeno eater in the world, my obstacles are large right now in the way of capacity. I would estimate that the peppers were probably 16-20 per pound. Meaning I consumed some where around 8-9 pounds of peppers and Pat consumed around 14-15 pounds of peppers. Anyway, I did improve over my past results, 108 was my top jalapeno total previously, so I am satisfied I did at least achieve a PR and pushed myself until the end.
On a side note, it was good to finally meet and get a glimpse of the elusive Pat Bruss who was on my fantasy eating team all last year and he probaly never knew it. I am a little surprised that he was able to make the trip down to Laredo having never been in a jalapeno contest and Laredo not being the most convenient location to get to. He put down 85 peppers which is not bad for his first try at peppers. Pat is another Doctor on the circuit (good for CE in my opinion) working in the ER he said. He has pretty awesome natural ability, he put down 23.5 HDB's last year in NC and with more experience he could be dangerous in the future.
Click Below to view my photos from Laredo:
|Laredo Jalapenos 2-23-08|