Wednesday, March 18, 2020

101 Things #77 - Serious Eating

From time to time I amuse myself by following, on YouTube, the exploits of a few intrepid young people who undertake food challenges. These invariably take the form of eating as much as possible of a certain food, or set of dishes, within a set time. I covered the fascination of fiery peppers a short while back but in this piece I have picked on up a suggestion found on the website called Bucket List Journey. They think that everyone should, at least once in their lives,

Order one of everything on the menu.

I am not prepared to have this as one my life goals. Indeed, I have no intention of ever even trying it and instead shall add this to my seemingly-interminable series, known in the better parts of Ruislip as 101 Things I Refuse To Do Before I Die

What menu? That of a small local restaurant or that of a national chain? Maybe a cafe or the palatial dining room of a grand hotel? It's a bit vague. It would need to be one that is not too huge - for example a typical Indian restaurant will have a lamb course in a dozen different sauces and maybe a choice of five heat settings from Korma to Vindaloo and beyond. That's 60 dishes before ordering the equivalent in chicken, prawns, duck and all of the side dishes and vegetarian mains. Plus bread. Plus rice. And don't forget the popadums. This, I think, can be ruled out on grounds of sheer impracticality.

However it is possible to find menus sufficiently restricted that it is feasible to order and attempt to eat one of everything. Indeed, this is one of the standard approaches of one of the guys I keep an eye on, who has a channel on YouTube called BeardMeetsFood. He likes a pretty wide range of food and is happiest scoffing the entire menu of a pizza joint or a pub, literally eating a full portion of each individual dish available. Here he is enjoying a Christmas dinner.

Pic: Screenshot from Youtube

Now the point is that Beardy (real name Adam), aided by his supportive wife Lindsey, does this for a living. He has trained himself to be able to cope with enormous quantities of food - 12,000 calories at a sitting is not unusual - and keeps his body in trim. How he does this I don't know. If I were to eat just a quarter of one of his typical meals I would be violently ill.

Of course, the good folk behind Bucket List Journey have been rather cunning in their proposal. There is nothing about actually eating anything - to mark this one off as a bucket list done, all that is needed is to order the food, confirm to the staggered waiter that yes, all fifteen main courses and ten sides are wanted, and don't forget the desserts. Or the starters. But that doesn't seem much of an achievement since it merely involves spending a bit of money. Surely a serious effort has to be made to nosh the lot and obviously the noshing needs to be done by just the one person. Bringing in the local rugby team after a hard morning's training is not fair.

We are left with a simple conclusion. For the ordinary bloke, like me, to attempt to order a load of food that I could not possibly eat is a repulsive idea. I'm not even going to go into the morality of it.  It is not going to be something I would ever look back on, wistfully, wishing I had attempted it. Kudos to those who can and those of us who cannot will cheerfully do something - anything, really - instead.  Now, then, what's for lunch?

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