NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION UPDATE: PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT (SORT OF)

May 29th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

picMy New Year’s resolution this year is to compete in a watermelon eating contest. I’ve identified the contest and interviewed competitive eaters. With six weeks to go before the big day, the only thing left to do is get a few watermelon-eating practice sessions under my belt to test my capabilities and refine my technique.

Like I mentioned before, I used to be a semi-professional competitive eater, so “practice sessions” are nothing new to me. Before any eating contest, it’s a good idea to practice at least once to determine what sort of challenges you might face on game day. Even if it’s a food you’ve eaten 100 times in the past – whether it’s hot dogs, apple pie, ice cream, or watermelon – it’s a completely different eating experience when you’re consuming mass quantities of it in a short period of time.

For my first training session (and all future sessions), I practiced with half of a medium-sized watermelon, cut lengthwise into two equal quarter-melon wedges. My goal: to consume both in about three minutes. I’ve been known to eat on quarter-melon wedge in a single sitting, but I’ve never eaten two, and I’ve certainly never eaten two in the span of 180 seconds.

With my wedges in front of me (that’s them above next to a fork for perspective) and wearing my favorite “eating shirt” (yes, I have an eating shirt), I was ready to dig in. I warned my wife that things might get messy and she wisely suggested that I move my practice run to the picnic table on the back porch. She’s pretty smart about stuff like that.

So how’d it go? I finished both wedges in about five minutes. Not quite as fast as I had hoped, but not a terrible first effort, either. I was also right about things getting messy. By the time I was finished, my face was soaked in watermelon juice and my eating shirt was drenched, too. That’s okay, though, because it has more than its share of stains – each one with its own story to tell.

I plan to try at least two more training sessions before the contest on July 4 to see if I can improve my speed and technique. I’m pretty sure there’s room for improvement, and I’ve already got some ideas for how to make that happen. Stay tuned!

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ANIMAL EATING A WATERMELON: A HUNGRY CAT

February 21st, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

A couple years ago, I featured a fluffy feline named Cooper who loved watermelon. Turns out, Cooper isn’t the only cat with good taste in snacks. The cat below starts his meal where most of us would – at the top of the watermelon wedge – but soon turns his attention to the rind.

Like we’ve discussed before, that’s actually a smart move, because the watermelon’s rind contains a higher concentration of nutrients like fiber, potassium and citrulline than the red fleshy part of the watermelon. The main reason for this perk is because the rind has less water and is more dense. And yes, it’s not as sweet, but if you’re a hungry, orange cat, that’s not a big deal.

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NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION UPDATE: A LOOK AT SOME WATERMELON EATING CHAMPIONS

January 17th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

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Compared to previous years, which included competing in a watermelon seed spitting contest and growing my own watermelon, my New Year’s resolution this year is pretty simple: Enter a watermelon eating contest. Essentially, my resolution is to eat a whole bunch of watermelon. How hard can it be, right?

Actually, the hard part isn’t eating the watermelon, but finding the contest to enter. Like the seed spitting contest in 2012, it’s not something that happens all that often up here in the northern states. I’ll write more about finding a contest in a future blog entry. For now, I’d like to focus on the fun part of this challenge – the eating.

As I’ve shared before, I am a former competitive eater. It’s been a few years since my last contest, but during a five or six year span, I competed in all sorts of contests, including chicken wings, ice cream, pizza, shoo fly pie, giant hamburgers, and even breakfast cereal. But I’ve never competed in a watermelon eating contest. To get an idea of what sort of goal to aim for, I took a look at some previous championship watermelon-eating performances:

1. “Buffalo” Jim Reeves – According to the International Federation of Competitive Eating, Reeves set the current watermelon record by eating 13.2 pounds of in 15 minutes on July 30, 2005 at the “Swellin’ with Melon Watermelon Eating Championship” in Brookville, OH. To be honest, I’d be happy if I could eat half that amount!

2. ElephantsEarlier this year, eight members of the Southwestern College (San Diego) football team faced off against two Asian elephants to see which side could eat more watermelons in a 15-minute period. The football players ate eight watermelons, but the elephants downed 10 to take the title.

3. “Crazy Legs” Conti – On May 20, 2008, pro eater “Crazy Legs” Conti at 15.1 slices of watermelon in six minutes. Sounds pretty impressive, but it’s hard to say how big the slices were.

4. “Furious” Pete Czerwinski – On May 30, 2010, Czerwinski ate an amazing 34 slices of watermelon in three minutes in a contest at the Mardi Gras Casino in Hallendale Beach, Florida.

As you can see, the bar is set pretty high when it comes to my future watermelon eating performance. Luckily, I only need to compete in a contest in order to accomplish my resolution – I don’t need to win the contest. That’s good news, because I really like watermelon and I might actually try to savor it during my future eating contest appearance!

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