Yesterday, Jane and I were in the Little Tokyo section of Los Angeles at the Gyoza Eating Competition. Gyoza, if you don't already know, are Japanese dumplings. They are usually vegetable or pork based, but I think I heard the commentator mention something about vegetables.
So here's a little known tidbit about me. I cannot tear myself away from the television when Food Network, or one of the Discovery channels is airing something about competitive eating. No, I have no interest in putting my skills to the test. Actually, I have no idea how these people can actually eat this quantity of food in the period of time allotted. (Someone actually ate 8 pounds of mayonnaise in 10 minutes, and Sonya "The Black Widow" choked down 552 oysters in 10 minutes!) Regardless of the foods they're eating, I am mesmerized. I liken it to a car crash. Most people can't look away. Competitive eating is my car crash, I have to watch.
Joey Chestnut, one of the more famous competitive eaters on the circuit, was the star of the show. He was trying to break his previous record of 231 Gyoza in 10 minutes. Unfortunately for him, he started having some real trouble around minute 7, and only managed a paltry 181 Gyoza. But hey, it was enough to win the competition.
Here's some footage of his technique. Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, the reigning hot dog eating champion, is the left most male competitor (top row). Jaws ate 68 Nathans dogs this past 4th of July beating out Kobayashi for a third straight year. No, the hot dogs are not vegan. Regardless, vegan or otherwise, who in their right mind is choking down 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes?! The guy on the right in the blue baseball cap was disqualified. He hurled. (No it's not on the video!) And the amateur eaters are in the bottom row. If you compare their techniques, you can definitely tell who trains for this event!