Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti Eats 275 Jalapeños in 10 Minutes

What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than by downing an obscene amount of jalapeños? Sure, you could drink margaritas or toss back a few cervezas, but that pales in comparison to snagging first place at the La Costeña Feel the Heat Jalapeño Eating Championship Challenge.

The event took place this past Sunday and turned out to be just as heated as one would expect from a jalapeño challenge. In the end, it was Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti who defeated last year's champion, Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas in a double overtime battle of awesomely nicknamed competitive eaters.

You can marvel at the contestants' double-fisted dining prowess by watching the video below, and get more details on the Jalapeño Eating Championship Challenge at the event's website.

There's no denying that eating 275 jalapeños in 10 minutes is an impressive feat, and despite garnering a nice payday for his efforts, this is definitely a challenge we'll be leaving to the professionals. After all, stuffing your face with peppers might not be dignified, but eating one, sweating profusely, and then silently drinking a beer for the next 9-and-a-half minutes is just plain sad.

May is National Burger Month

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Flickr: wEnDaLicious
​In the National fill-in-the-blank Month to defeat all other month-long commemorations of foodstuffs, May is upon us in all its burger glory - just in time to fire up the grill.

There are lots of burger month promotions at Smashburger, all of which you can check out on their microsite.

The stoner's paradise, Krystal, is also in on the freebie action, and will be giving away $50 a day to loyal fans on Twitter and Facebook as well as a grand day of festivities on May 27th.

White Castle is offering a Slyder®-scented candle to help raise funds for Autism awareness. Expect a "steam-grilled-on-a-bed-of-onions scent" when you purchase one for $10 through the House of Crave store online.

Culver's, home of the ButterBurger, is offering a new variation with barbecue and cheddar to honor National Burger month, complete with an in-house competition between the new burger and their BBQ brisket sandwich.

What's in Your Meatball?

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Flickr: Stuutje
If you were buying your meatballs from a suspicious couple in Indonesia, it may have been monkey meat. Yes, the flesh from cute little tree dwellers probably ended up in a few bowls of bakso, Indonesian meatball soup.

If the thought of little monkeys floating in your soup isn't bad enough, the monkeys that were poached were a rare species, called Javan Langurs, or silver-leaf monkeys. They are currently protected in Indonesia because of their endangered status.

The couple's excuse to authorities was that beef and chicken are more expensive than poaching endangered monkeys for free.

Maximum prison term for the crime is 5 years, a fine of up to $555 U.S. dollars and a haunted house filled with angry little ghost monkeys for all eternity.

Score One for the Hobos

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Flickr: cygnus921
According to a recent article in EatingWell magazine, one of the healthiest fish in the sea is the sardine. Yes, that little guy hiding behind the thin layer of tin in your grandfather's cupboard doused in tomato sauce is actually really, really good for you. Who knew that hobos were such a forward thinking band of train hoppers?

Sardines are healthy, tasty and very sustainable, specifically wild-caught from the Pacific. They have lots more of the coveted omega-3 fatty acids than most other fish and usually don't contain toxins, like some of the larger, predatory fish.

So grab a bandana, pack all your belongings in it, tie it to the end of a stick, grow a 5 o'clock shadow, jump on a train and open that tin of sardines. You just might live a long and healthy life.

Competitive Tater Tot Eating

Competitive eating is serious business, and with some competitors winning well into five figures for showcasing their skills as a human garbage disposal, it's not surprising that the sport has been rapidly expanding. Bar Louie's recent "Rock the Tot" contest was decidedly less prestigious than Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, with a $250 gift certificate and a champion's belt standing in lieu of the $20,000 first place prize money on offer at the World Series of competitive eating events. Still, in spite of its smaller scale, that hardly detracted from the event's ability to horrify spectators with the obscene amounts of food being consumed.

Winning the highly coveted (or at least contested) champion's belt was Carl Deselm, who consumed an impressive 3 pounds and 5 ounces of Tater Tots in a paltry 6 minutes, edging out his nearest competitor by just one ounce.

Footage from the event can be seen below, and a full recap is offered at Gut Check, our sister blog from Riverfront Times.

As lifelong lovers of tots, we certainly embrace the spirit of eating them to excess, but dousing them with water and mashing them up in your hand still seems incredibly wasteful.

Veggies Vs. Veggies

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Flickr: Darwin Bell
If you're eating vegetables regularly, you're on the right track. However, there are a few substitutions in the spirit of the Eat This Not That generation that will get your more bang for your vegetable buck.

In a study presented at the 2010 Experimental Biology Conference, scientists found that vegetables common in the American diet aren't necessarily ones with the most concentrated amount of nutrients. The specific focus of the study measured phytonutrients, which are all the "good" things in veggies that help keep us healthy (in a nutshell).

See the vegetables go head-to-head after the jump.

Chocolate or Sex?

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Flickr: 427
The answer to the age-old chocolate or sex debate is finally answered - at least in the England anyway, and guys, it's not good news, unless you're a priest.

Over one in five women in the study claimed that their sex life would take a backseat before their chocolate habits and one third of the study participants daydreamed about chocolate compared to 18 percent of women who thought of sex during the day.

Men, however, fantasize about sex much more frequently, with a mere 11 percent thinking about chocolate.

When asked to comment, Susan Everywoman responded with, "I could have told you that."

Food Network Expands

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In case you haven't heard, Food Network is, apparently, not enough to satiate the American public's need for food-related television programming. The Cooking Network joins the family of lifestyle channels owned by Scripps, which includes the Travel Channel, Food Network, DIY Network, Home and Garden TV (HGTV) and Great American Country. Cooking Network will replace the current Fine Living Network (FLN).

A sampling of the new programs on the Cooking Network include Food Jammers, a show where three dudes build food-related contraptions, Foodcrafters, where the lovely Aida Mollenkamp (of Ask Aida) travels our fine country discovering hand-crafted stuff, two shows focusing on Indian cuisine, a mixologist-hosted cocktail program, a Caribbean cooking show and lots of other things, including some reruns of Julia Child and Galloping Gourmet, with Graham Kerr.

I Love Cheese, But This Is Ridiculous

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Like most people with souls, I am a cheese lover. Not even lactose intolerance could stop me from gorging on gouda, brie, feta and the vast array of cheeses that grace this fine planet - I'd eat and fart to my heart's content, much to the dismay of anyone within a 10-foot radius. As much as I love cheeses of all kinds, however, I appreciate diversity in my meals and haven't dialed up the fromage obsession to the point where I absolutely must have cheese at all times. This nutjob, on the other hand, begs to differ.

From the article:

"I love everything about cheese: the food, the texture, the smell. Unfortunately, it's the only food I eat - unless you count bread and potatoes, which I can only just stomach if they're smothered in layers of cheese."

I love cheese as much as (and perhaps more than) the next person, but I also understand and appreciate the dietary benefit of eating a variety of food. Eating only cheese or bland starches you can drench in cheese makes me wonder how deficient this woman is in various vitamins and minerals. Sure, she's getting calcium and healthy fats, but what about vitamin C and other building blocks the body needs, not to mention the excess of fat and sodium she's eating on a daily basis?

Tax Day Breaks

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Flickr: Toban Black
In case you haven't seen it plastered all over the internet yet, here are some great tax day deals from national chains...

-Save 15 percent on all food purchases at P.F. Chang's

-$10.40 dinner and drink specials at McCormick & Schmick's (giving away $10.40 gift certificates to bar guests as well)

-Essay contest and free cupcake bite giveaways at Cinnabon

-Free samples of Maggie Moo's Ice Cream Pizza from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

-Free brewed coffee at Starbucks when you bring your reusable coffee mug

-Buy one, get one free deal from Boston Market (with coupon)