Drink and Be Stuffed
by Mad Dog
wiener comes nestled in a brioche bun with a dollop of truffle-infused
mustard, and is yours for a bargain basement $19. Pass the sauerkraut
confit, will you?
||A while back the Old
Homestead Steak House, a restaurant in New York City frequented by
people who have more money than frying pans, added a $41 hamburger to
the menu. And no, I didn’t leave out the decimal point. The burgers
are made of Kobe beef, which comes from Japanese cattle that are
massaged daily and hand-fed 1,000-yen bills. They’re filled with herb
butter—the burgers, not the bills, served on a special roll, and are
garnished with exotic mushrooms, microgreens, and a letter of
authenticity from the chef promising that he wasn’t laughing when he
cooked it. Not too hard, anyway. This Foofie Mac was such a hit that
they’ve followed it up with a gourmet hot dog, which is also made of
Kobe beef. Hey, they had to figure out something to do with the Kobe
cow’s lips and tail, didn’t they? This wondrous wiener comes nestled
in a brioche bun with a dollop of truffle-infused mustard, and is yours
for a bargain basement $19. Pass the sauerkraut confit, will you?
Contrast this with Nathan’s Famous
in Coney Island, where they recently held their annual hot dog eating
contest. The dogs are cheaper, the appetites are bigger, and the only
things being massaged are the contestants’ distended stomachs
afterwards. The winner, for the third year in a row, was Takeru
Kobayashi, a young Japanese man. It was an empty win—if you’ll
pardon the expression—because he lamed out by only downing 44½ hot
dogs in 12 minutes. Hey, last year he chowed down 51½ in the same
amount of time. He shouldn’t feel too badly though, he still ate 10
times as many as ex-football player William “The Refrigerator”
Perry, who should be ashamed of himself for letting a guy who weighs
about a third as much out-eat him like that.
competitive eating to become an Olympic event, taking a place of honor
next to the thrilling triathlon of trampoline, synchronized diving, and
Maybe Perry didn’t like the hot dogs, though when you’re
stuffing them down your throat at the rate of one every 16 seconds like
Kobayashi did I’m not sure taste is important. Slideability is. Maybe
Perry would do better if next year they move the contest to the Old
Homestead Steak House. I know I would. There’s no question I’d be
more inspired knowing I’m trying to stuff down $978.50 worth of hot
dogs in 12 minutes.
Eating contests have become very
popular. Where they were once relegated to the pie-eating contest at the
county fair, Our Gang comedies, and any dinner table that had at
least two pre-adolescent boys sitting around it, they’re now featured
on Fox, ESPN, and the Food Network. There’s an organization dedicated
to promoting it called the International Federation of Competitive
Eating, and stars like Kobayashi. Don’t be surprised if people like
him start picking up endorsement deals from Alka-Seltzer, Sansabelt
elastic waist slacks, and the company that makes the barf bags you see
in every airplane seat pocket even though you’ve never heard of anyone
actually using one. Look for competitive eating to become an Olympic
event, taking a place of honor next to the thrilling triathlon of
trampoline, synchronized diving, and (yawn) badminton.
Think about it, wouldn’t you love
to see someone eating 38 hard-boiled eggs in 10 minutes? How about 21
cannolis in six minutes? Or maybe you’d prefer 21 matzo balls in 5
minutes and 25 seconds like Eric Booker did at the sixth annual matzo
ball eating contest at Ben's Kosher Deli in New York City. For one
thing, there wouldn’t be a problem with judging scandals—you either
suck ‘em down and keep ‘em down or you don’t. And it would be an
event we could all relate to, unlike those where you have to train hard,
be in shape, and actually exercise.
They elected a
Tofu Princess, held a tofu toss, and gave students credit towards
graduating if they traded their beer bongs for tofu. Beat that, Los
The upcoming Los Angeles Tofu Festival, a get together that says
“California” even more than candidate-financed governor recall
campaigns, could be considered an Olympic trial. Not only will there be
tofu tacos, tofu jerky, and a Sidewalk Chalk Tofu Art contest—whatever
that is, there will be the obligatory tofu eating contest. We can only
hope it’s better than the one they’ve held at Minnesota’s Carleton
College the last five years—they don’t go for quantity, they go for
speed. This year's winner downed a single block of tofu in 34 seconds.
Yes, only one block. Of course they elected a Tofu Princess, held a tofu
toss, and gave students credit towards graduating if they traded their
beer bongs for tofu. Beat that, Los Angeles.
It’s not surprising they’re
celebrating tofu. Well, not in L.A. anyway. It’s made from soy which
is very versatile stuff. Besides tofu, it’s the starting point for soy
sauce, soy milk, soy ink, soy candles, and Soyrizo, which is fake
Mexican chorizo for people who are more concerned about health than
taste. Oh yeah, and soy foam insulation. That’s right, a company in
Illinois has released a product which, when sprayed between wall studs,
expands to 100 times its volume. It’s cheaper than standard spray
insulation, comes from a renewable resource, and in a pinch you can chip
off a chunk and carve a soy tiara so you can prance around the house in
your underwear singing into a Soyrizo link while pretending you’re the
Another thing they make from soy is
soy hot dogs, but so far I haven’t heard of anyone holding a soy hot
dog eating contest, though it might be the next disgusting thing
competitors have to eat on Fear Factor. One good thing you can
say about them though is that they’re cheap. Cheaper than $19 hot dogs
from the Old Homestead Steak House anyway. Unless, of course, they’re
made from Kobe tofu.
©2003 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Read them instead of eating 4-1/2 hot dogs.