11 Foods to Avoid in Eating Contests

Eating contests are the epitome of fun with a side of caution. But beware, some foods are like culinary booby traps, ready to sabotage both your stomach and your victory lap. From the fiery depths of ghost peppers to the deceptive simplicity of cinnamon, each of these foods carries the potential to turn your triumph into a tummy-troubling defeat.

1. Ghost Peppers: The Spicy Road to Misery

Ghost peppers aren’t just hot; they’re a one-way ticket to a teary, fiery regret. Eating these for fun is like trying to sunbathe in a volcano. Sure, you’ll get a tan, but you’ll also get a firsthand experience of what it feels like to turn into a human torch.

You thought it was a good idea at the time. But as the heat builds, your dreams of glory evaporate faster than a snowflake in a sauna. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, not for safety, but to put out the inferno in your mouth.

2. Cinnamon: The Deceptive Dust

Ah, cinnamon, the unassuming kitchen staple. It smells like a warm hug from grandma but can turn into a cloud of despair faster than you can say “Cinnabon.” Attempting the cinnamon challenge is like trying to breathe in a desert storm – not recommended unless you’re a camel or a particularly dusty tumbleweed.

Swallowing this spice in large quantities is akin to giving your throat a sandpaper massage. You might start off feeling like a cinnamon-scented dragon, but you’ll end up coughing like an old car trying to start on a cold morning.

3. Surströmming: A Fishy Fiasco

Surströmming, or fermented herring, is Scandinavia’s gift to the world of ‘nope.’ It’s like opening a can of ocean breeze if the ocean was made of nightmares and despair. The smell alone can clear a room faster than an impromptu tax audit.

If you’re brave enough to try it, remember to apologize to your taste buds first. They didn’t sign up for this level of betrayal.

4. Durian: The King of Fruits and Foes

Durian, a fruit so pungent it’s banned on public transport in some countries. It’s like eating vanilla custard in a gas mask. Some say it tastes like heaven but smells like the aftermath of a skunk convention.

Venturing into a durian eating contest is a bold move, akin to wearing a perfume called ‘Eau de Gym Locker.’ It’s a fruit that fights back, so if you don’t respect it, it’ll haunt your burps for days.

5. Wasabi: The Sinister Green Paste

Wasabi, the devious cousin of mustard, is not to be trifled with. It’s like a green, sneaky ninja waiting to assault your sinuses. A small dab is a journey; a spoonful is a nasal apocalypse.

The wasabi challenge might seem like a good idea until your brain is doing the cha-cha in your skull. Remember, this is a condiment, not a main course, and it plays dirty.

6. Raw Onions: The Tearful Trial

Chomping on raw onions is like signing up for a marathon of tears. It’s not just a food; it’s an emotional experience. Your eyes will water, your nose will run, and you’ll wonder where your life went wrong.

And let’s not forget the after-effects. You’ll have the kind of breath that could single-handedly repel an entire army.

7. Saltines: The Desert of the Mouth

Saltines, so innocent in their simplicity, yet so treacherous in large quantities. Eating them in quick succession is like trying to turn your mouth into the Sahara Desert.

You’ll find yourself desperately craving water, like a lost sailor dreams of land. And the more you eat, the more you’ll wonder if you’re eating crackers or just munching on drywall.

8. Milk: The Dairy Dare

Drinking gallons of milk seems easy until your stomach starts a rebellion. It’s like throwing a dairy-themed party and inviting too many lactose-intolerant guests.

Your stomach will churn like a washing machine in overdrive, and you’ll start looking at every toilet with newfound respect.

9. Pickles: The Sour Saga

Eating too many pickles is like sending your taste buds to a sour boot camp. They start off as crunchy, vinegary delights but soon turn into a relentless assault on your senses.

And just when you think you’ve had enough, the pickle burps begin, haunting you with reminders of your briny bravado.

10. Garlic: The Pungent Punishment

Garlic is great in small doses, but in a contest, it’s like challenging a vampire to a staring contest. You might win, but at what cost?

Your breath will become a weapon of mass destruction, and you’ll find yourself mysteriously alone for the following week.

11. Hot Dog Buns: The Carb Overload

Finally, the hot dog bun, the underdog of eating challenges. It starts off soft and innocent, but soon you’re drowning in a sea of doughy despair.

You’ll feel like a human bread basket, and you’ll never look at a hot dog the same way again. It’s not just a bun; it’s a sponge soaking up your dignity one bite at a time.


Diving into an eating contest can be a blast; just be sure to steer clear of these eleven troublemakers. Keep this list in mind for your next food challenge, and you’ll have a much better shot at enjoying the experience without any unwanted belly aches. Remember, choosing the right foods is half the battle to emerging as the undisputed eating contest champ!


I'm a human being. Usually hungry. I don't have lice.

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