June 29, 2009

Site ranks top eating competitions

California-based discount travel site VirtualTourist.com released its list of the top five eating competitions, including contests in New York and England.

Giampiero Ambrosi, general manager of the Web site, said eating contests have grown in popularity and seriousness in recent years.

There's actually an international association for competitive eaters which not only announces big eating events, but encourages safety regulations and fields media inquiries, he said.

The Web site chose the top eating contest as the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, which has taken place on New York's Coney Island since 1916. Ranked second was the World Nettle-Eating Championships in Dorset, England, which forces competitors to consume stinging nettles.

Other eating contests chosen as noteworthy by VirtualTourist include the Oyster Eating Races of Bluff, New Zealand; the World Calamari Eating Championship of Southgate, Mich.; and the World Championship Haggis Eating Competition, part of Scotland's Birnam Highland Games.