ALEX M. OF SCRANTON, PA ASKS: Ernie, I’m going to be competing in an ice cream eating contest in a few weeks and since you eat ice cream for a living, I thought you might be able to give me some tips to help me win. Any advice you can give would be appreciated, especially advice on how to avoid brain freeze!
I’m more than happy to help out, Alex, and I wish you the very best of luck in your contest, but I should point out that my competitive eating experience is limited to Thanksgiving and the occasional breakfast buffet. Although I do eat ice cream for a living, I usually only eat it in very small quantities, so brain freeze isn’t an issue for me. However, one person who does have a lot of competitive eating experience and who knows a thing or two about battle brain freeze is Chicago native Patrick Bertoletti.
Pat, or “Deep Dish” as he’s known on the competitive eating circuit, is ranked #4 in the world by Major League Eating and he even has his own website, Deep Dish Eats. Among his eye-popping (or should I say, gut popping?) world eating records are:
- 47 slices of pizza in 10 minutes
– 21 pounds of grits in 10 minutes (yes 21 POUNDS)
– 11.1 pounds of shoofly pie in 8 minutes (set right here in Lancaster County)
– 42 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in 10 minutes
– 275 pickled jalepeno peppers in 10 minutes
– 55 hot dogs in 10 minutes during the annual July 4 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest (not a world record, but still pretty amazing)
Most importantly, Mr. Bertoletti holds the world ice cream eating record with 1.75 GALLONS of vanilla ice cream in 8 minutes during a contest in 2006. That’s more ice cream than I eat in an entire month, and I eat a lot of ice cream! As you can see, Pat has a pretty impressive eating resume, which is why I reached out to Pat to get his professional ice cream eating opinion. Here’s what Pat had to say:
“As far as eating it fast I would suggest using a warm or hot liquid to aid in faster consumption. Stirring the ice cream up so it’s not rock hard also helps. I don’t suffer from brain freeze but have heard that flipping the spoon upside down protects you from the dreaded after effects (more like using your tongue to scrape the ice cream off the spoon and keeping the spoon in between the ice cream and the roof of your mouth). I hope this helps!”
So there you have it. Some great advice from one of the greatest competitive eaters on the planet. Did I mention that Pat has won over $160,000 dollars in eating contests since his professional debut in 2004? Yup, this guy knows a think or two about making food disappear. If anyone else has any advice for Alex for how to win his upcoming ice cream eating contest or how to avoid brain freeze, please share your tips with a comment!