Eating Contest

Trip Start Aug 18, 2011
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Sweden  , Swedish Lakeland,
Saturday, March 17, 2012

Today I took part in a time honored tradition at Kalmar Nation, in which those at the nation have a chance to take part in an eating contest of a local food from Kalmar. Those who participate have one hour to see how many kroppkakor they can eat. Those who do not participate get to enjoy their food.

I had had kroppkakor before, but I am not the biggest fan, but they are a regional favorite of Victor's family. Victor really wanted to go to the gasque, and I love gasques, so of course I went. The prize for winning the eating contest was two tickets to the spring ball, which I really want to go to, so to win free tickets means a cheaper night, however even without winnign the tickets I am still going so a spring ball somewhere.

I knew that I could not eat very many, because I had at most had three and then felt very full. Kroppkakor are thick boiled and mashed potatoes filled with meat eaten with butter, jam, and cream. I did not enter, because it would have just been embarrassing, but I encouraged Victor to enter, because he can eat a lot more of them than I can, and he did. Had I known that I had not had to compete against the boys and that there was a separate category for the girls I may have considered, but I did not get close to the number that the winning girl ate, even though I ate more than my record and these kroppkakor were much much smaller than normal ones.

The kroppkakor’s are a very special food, so the eating did not begin until the curator of the nation sampled the kroppkakor to make sure that they were fit for eating. She sampled them and then gave a short speech about how great the kroppkakor were. All of the speeches that night had to do with kroppkakor, these took place before, during and after the eating contest.

The eating contest was simple. Each contestant was given a flag. When they finished one kroppkakor they would raise the flag and one of the two contest facilitators would mark next to the name that corresponded with the number on the flag. A big white board was on prominent display at the front of the hall where everyone could see how much had been eaten. I kept an eye on that board and let Victor know how far he was form the lead. One of the other contestants pulled ahead by eating fourteen very quickly and that gave him an advantage, but he then slowed down. Halfway through the contest one of the officials of the contest interviewed all of the contestants to ask how they were doing. Some had dropped out at this point and others discussed how much they had eaten at past kroppkakor meals.

These kroppkakor were actually much smaller than the real ones that come from the Kalmar region, so instead of having something like 14 be the winning number, the winner won by eating 29. Victor ate 28. I tried to get him to eat one more at the last second, but he did not understand that there were only a few seconds left and thus lost by one. Maybe next year he will win. I stopped eating at ten or so kroppkakor, I was glad that I did because they kept bringing us beer and that fills you up, plus the dessert at the end was very delicious. Victor could not eat his, so I had both.

There was supposed to be a club at the end of the gasque and we had intended to stay, but after a few minutes Victor wanted to leave. I think his stomach was full to bursting and he did not feel up to dancing, partying and drinking. He wanted to go home and sleep. I did not blame him. I had eaten a third of what he had and I was quite full myself.

I am not sure if I want to take part in this contest next year. The gasque was another example of the diverse sorts of gasques that happen all year long. It was fun, but maybe next time we will enjoy our food instead of eating it so quickly.
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