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How to survive eating three pounds of pulled-pork and other eating challenges

This young man enjoys the taste of victory.

blog by Erin Daetsch  • 

Competitive eating is a popular pastime at fairs, and the Erie County Fair is no exception. This year there will be three eating contests: Nick Charlap’s Ice Cream Eating Contest, BW’s Pie Eating Contest and BW’s BBQ Pulled Pork Eating Contest.

Even though it is fun and games typically rule at the Fair, these eating contests are very serious and the competition is tough. Although speed and stomach capacity are important factors, there is a lot more that goes into winning one of these gastronomical throwdowns. Here are a few general tips that at the very least will keep you from getting (too) sick.

Prepare yourself mentally.  Visualize succeeding and enjoying yourself. That way will be able to trick your brain into thinking you are having fun while you attempt to eat three pounds of pulled pork in five minutes.

Do a “practice run” to familiarize yourself.  During the “dress rehearsal,” find ways to make the food go down faster—test out different chewing and swallowing techniques. Don’t choke! No, seriously, don’t choke. That’s really dangerous.

Try to exercise before the event.   There is no need to run a marathon, but an occasional walk or some ab exercises will keep you flexible and ready to pound some ice cream.

Learn to breathe through your nose. Have bad sinuses? Well than you are out of luck, pal, because you will too busy stuffing food into your face to breathe through your mouth.

Do not panic.  A giant tub of ice cream, a few pies and three pounds of pulled pork is no big deal. It is important to eat at a steadily increasing speed because the more you panic or rush, the more mistakes you will be likely to make. Like biting your tongue. OUCH.

Here’s a video from last year’s pulled pork contest at the Erie County Fair:


Photo from Flickr/JKing89

TAGGED: barbeque, eating contest, erie county fair, food, ice cream, pie, survival tips

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