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Jaws sets new tamale record

By editorial assistant Sandi Toxic

Posted September 30, 2012
joey jaws set tamale eating record
Jaws: Jaws knows how to use his. (Check bottom for credit)

Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut has munched his way to a new world record at the Lewisville Western Days Festival World Tamale-Eating Championship in Texas.

The unstoppable Californian chomping machine that is Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut has just put down a whopping 102 tamales in 12 minutes, kicking Tim 'Eater X' Janus off his tamale throne while weeing all over his 2007 record of 71.

Not literally of course.

That would have been minging.

Besides, he would probably have got nicked as well given that the chowdown, organised by the Lewisville Convention and Visitors Bureau and sanctioned by Major League Eating (MLE), took place on the front steps of Lewisville City Hall yesterday/today (29/9/12) before a large crowd of onlookers.

So, just to make it perfectly clear, Jaws didn't actually piddle publicly on anything.

Or kick anyone off a throne or similar chair-type thing.

I was being metaphorical.


The media likes to do that.

As well as talk out of its bung hole, eh Kok?

Anyway, in racking up this phenomenal total, Jaws also netted a wodge of wedge worth $1,500 (£928), which works out to be just under $14.71 per tamale.

Or a tad short of £9.10 per unit if you think in quids.

Man, aren't calculators ace?

But not quite as ace as four-time winner Eater X, who chobbled back 87 of these Mesoamerican leaf-wrapped parcel jobbies to come second, simultaneously trouncing his 2011 title-winning gut count of 67.

Meanwhile, Adrian 'the Rabbit' Morgan gobbled 68 to come third with Juan 'More Bite' Rodriguez, we believe, next up with 60.5.

'Nasty' Nate Biller, who actually comes across as rather a pleasant chap if you watch him on the box here, came fifth by tucking 50.5 tamales away inside his Texan tummy.

As a result, Levi Oliver, who gulletised 36 in 10 minutes 30 seconds at the inaugural event back in 2005, remains, in the words of the City of Lewisville website, "the only Texan to win the world title in tamales"1.

By the way, the only Lewisville resident "to place in the money" in the event's history, the same website says, is a chap called Zack Alvarado, who came fifth in 2009 with a tamale tally of 23.5.

Sticking with the trivia, there have only even been three reversals at this particular chowdown: one in 2006 and two in 2011.

If any readers have footage of that, we'd love to see it.

"It deserves repeating: 102 tamales in 12," MLE says via Twitter.

"Joey Chestnut."

"The shadow of his greatness is long and dark."


some tamales
Tamales: So that's what they look like. (Check bottom for credit)

"That Chestnut's something, ain't he?" says Rake & Herald fashion editor, London cabbie and self-appointed competitive eating pundit Kok Wang.

"According to the top-notch Eat Feats website, he's only lost twice in the past 12 months: the World Cheese Steak Eating Championship in May, when he played second fiddle to Patrick 'Deep Dish' Bertoletti; and the CP Biggest Eater Qualifier back in November, when he lost to Eater X only to come flying back like the bloody Dambusters to smash out a new record in the final."

"No wonder we've now invented a verb in his honour."

"To chestnut, viz to consume a very large quantity of something in a very short space of time."

"The guy's a star, although my sympathies go out to Eater X."

"He'd won that tamale eating gob fest in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011, so if he's feeling a bit gutted I can't blame him."

"Mind you, getting a mention in the Rake & Herald's bound to cheer him up so big shouts out to the world's greatest belcher."

"Respect to the X!"

Incidentally, if you want to see a real living example of the verb 'to chestnut' in action, have a click of this.

Anyway, here are the full results according to MLE's Twitter feed, with cash prizes where applicable:

1) Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut (102 tamales; $1,500);

2) Tim 'Eater X' Janus (87; $1,000);

3) Adrian 'the Rabbit' Morgan (68; $500);

4) Juan 'More Bite' Rodriguez (60.5; $250);

5) 'Nasty' Nate Biller (50.5; $150);

6) Yasir 'Doggy Bag' Salem (42; $100);

7) Brent Ricord (34);

8) Gary Klucken (27);

9) Cole Ellis (24);

10) Timothy Morris (22);

11) Alex Perez (21); and

12) Steve Harrell (17).

Big respect to all who took part.

I've never even seen a tamale let alone eaten 102.

However, we think you all did a darn good job and wish you all future success in abundance.

Nice one.

Right, gotta go.

That Rake bloke wants me to write two other reports tonight.

Fortunately, I've still got that bottle of Thunderbird.

Just don't tell Kok or he'll twoc it like he did that poitín I smuggled back from Ireland.

The greedy gutstick.

See also Chestnut chalks up gyoza record, posted 19/8/12.


1) In winning the inaugural contest, Oliver also set a new tamale eating record. However, this was beaten the following May in Houston by Chip 'Burger' Simpson only for Eater X to break that one in 2007.

Picture credits

Top and thumb: Some human chompers from Gray's Anatomy; rejigged by Ignatius Rake.

Bottom: Some tamales by Renee Comet

For licensing information click the above links.

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