Food as entertainment and relationships

Food gets used in so many other ways than providing basic nutrients, and yes, there are still starving people around the world. So – watched 2 hours of competitive eating on espn — replays of the last 4 years of the July 4th Nathan’s hot dog contest, mostly won by Kobayashi… And then last night watched a show on PBS about sandwiches… More to come after FIVE GUYS

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[update] Ain’t it amazing how the evolution of food has gone from basic sustenance (food as survival), to meal times for deepening friendships and/or striking a deal (food as relationships), to an epicurean eating of delicious delicacies for the gourmet connoisseurs (food as enjoyment), and more recently a proliferation of televised shows beyond merely cooking shows on a popular cable channel called Food Network (food as entertainment), and for yet more entertainment value, competitive eating (food as sport)! Those in the latter 3 categories are sometimes known as foodies, and it’s one of those transcendent things that crosses cultures and generations.

Competitive eating is both fascinating and disgusting. Mesmerizing to watch, but not something I’d seriously attempt. During my recent cross country drive, I saw a kind of competitive eating up close and personal: 2 guys attempted to eat a 72 oz. steak dinner at Big Texan in Amarillo (TX), and if they were to finish in 1 hour, they’d win the meal for free and get their names in lights. They didn’t make it. The only 2 attempts I’ve made at consuming mass quantities of food was a 50 oz. Porterhouse T-bone steak (bone-in) at Trail Dust and 2ndly, downing pizza slices at Cici’s buffet (maxed out at 12, minus crust). I’m obviously no threat to the professional eaters of Major League Eating.

BTW, the PBS show that kept me up late last night was called Sandwiches That You Will Like (cf. official website); the Wikipedia entry has a list of the sandwiches spotlights. My next foodie destination: Philippe’s for a French Dip.

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