Today I bring you something a little frivolous… A few weeks ago I was having dinner in a massive Japanese restaurant where we ordered a dessert which was basically a big volcano-shaped mound of crushed ice covered in a thin layer of mango. It came in a massive bowl which was more than enough for four or more people and I speculated as to whether one person could eat it whole.
This turned out to be a mistake when the 11-year-old nephew of a friend challenged me to an ice eating competition the following Saturday where we would see who could eat the same desert in the fastest time! I wasn’t sure if eating so much ice in such a short period of time would be such a good idea so consulted with a doctor to make sure it wouldn’t kill anyone. He wasn’t prepared to guarantee that it wouldn’t but said it was “probably harmless” 😀
Side note: the centrepiece of the restaurant was a massive tree covered in thousands of LEDs which simultaneously glowed different colours. Somehow they managed to pull it off without it looking too tacky. The artwork on the walls was also another matter…
On Saturday morning we reconvened in the same restaurant and much to the bemusement of the staff promptly ordered two of the mango-ice volcanoes.
At 25 minutes long I think we’ve proved that eating crushed ice is not something that can be done quickly by amateurs. After about 10 minutes I lost most of the feeling in my mouth which went numb but this still didn’t increase the rate at which I could shovel it in. My competitor complained of brain freeze but found a novel way of speeding things up by first melting the ice into more of a slush composition which seems to have given him the edge leading to victory.
Unless you fancy experiencing the feeling of eating a glacier I wouldn’t encourage anyone to try this at home!
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Fantastic post – loved it! I think If you’d have spent less time procrastinating you could have won this :).
Thanks Tom, I think you’re right – I spent to much time during the competition commentating rather than eating 😀
One of your greatest posts ever.
For next time, remember this (from Wired issue June 08):
How To … Cure Brain Freeze
[…] that stabbed-in-the-forehead feeling occurs (sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia) occurs when the temperature of the palate doesn’t have time to normalize between spoonfuls of ice. The capillaries in the roof of your mouth dilate rapidly, filling with warmth-inducing blood, and that sudden expansion could trigger nerves at the back of your palate (the sphenopalantine ganglion) to fire off urgent messages to your brain: “OMG, the head is freezing!” […] To cure a cranium chill, says Mark W. Green, director of headache medicine at Columbia University, press your tongue hard against your palate to thaw it quickly, or breathe into your hands to heat your mouth.
Looks like your little competitor had some inside information! He was definitely doing the breathe-into-hands routine.
Haha, that is fantastic! A valiant effort, David.
Good tip for stopping brain freeze Aku & thanks Simon. That kid definitely knew what he was doing I think. Next time I wont let him win so easily!
Good going, looks like you are really enjoying China. Great competition :), I hope it tasted good as well, next time I visit China will try to find out this Mango Ice thingy.
On a side note, you finally came out and I don’t mean in that sense :), I mean you showed yourself in public, don’t remember any of your pictures on blog.
so adorable 🙂 Have fun and be happy for the lifetime.
it’s so fun to watch it!you had lots of face expression,haha.
there is the same resturant as well in my city, but the style is totally different!
David you’ve allowed your face to be broadcast on the internet for the first time!!! Also you could have done a better job if you hadn’t taken so long between each mouthful! Hope the old ones are alright
See!All are surprised that U finally show ur face on the internet.
Haha, I wanted to mask my face but it would have taken too long! Hope I haven’t scared too many people 😀
haha,those fast shot are very funny
you were killing the kid !!!!