The ultimate authority on the biggest, smallest, longest, shortest, least, most, and sometimes just plain silliest things in the world has long been the volume that appears annually as Guinness World Records. Now published in 100 countries and at least 23 languages, it is an international franchise employing official adjudicators to verify the setting and breaking of records around the globe.
Many of these records involve food and drink. Some are simple matters of size — the largest scoop of ice cream, the biggest pizza. Others measure accomplishments like visiting the most pubs or successfully dropping an egg from a great height without breaking it. Still others are just plain curious, like the most grapes that someone can fit into his mouth or the fastest a sandwich can be made using only the feet — a skill that might not translate into a position in the food service industry. These are the weirdest jobs in every state.
It’s fitting that gastronomic matters should figure so prominently in the Guinness book, considering that it was created in the first place due to an argument about game birds. At a hunting party in the early 1950s, Sir Hugh Beaver, then managing director of Ireland’s celebrated Guinness Brewery, found himself disagreeing with his hosts about which game bird flew the fastest. (The brewery is no longer officially linked to the publication, though Guinness Stout continues to be an international best-seller itself. These are America’s 26 top-selling beers.)
Not finding the answer in any available volumes, Beaver had the idea of creating a book of records to settle pub arguments. The first edition was published in 1955 and it grew from there. (The fastest game bird, by the way, is the golden plover.)
24/7 Tempo scoured the Guinness World Records website to find some of the craziest food and drink records. If you want to try your hand at breaking one of these or any other records — or hope to set a new record in a category of your own — Guinness World Record Day is coming up on Nov. 14. Applications may be submitted online at the Guinness World Records website.
All record specifics come from the Guinness World Records website and are current as of Aug. 28, 2019. The figures do not always agree with those given by other sources, but they are the official Guinness numbers.
1. Longest line of hot dogs
> Record: 1,464.03 meters (4,803 feet, 2.97 inches)
> When: Aug. 12, 2018
Four food companies collaborated in Zapopan, Mexico — one providing buns, one the wieners, one supplying mustard and mayonnaise, and a fourth pitching in with ketchup — to make a line of 10,000 hot dogs. It wasn’t a straight line, though: the franks were arranged to spell the words “hot dog.”
2. Heaviest avocado
> Record: 5 pounds, 8 ounces
> When: Jan. 3, 2018
With its tropical climate, Hawaii is known for growing fruits of record-breaking size. This one was harvested by Felicidad Pasalo in Hilo, on Hawaii’s Big Island.
3. Largest scoop of ice cream
> Record: 3,010 pounds
> When: June 28, 2014
Created by Minnesota-based dairy company Kemps LLC for the Cedarburg (Wisconsin) Strawberry Festival, this wasn’t exactly a scoop. Made of about 733 containers — presumably large ones — of ice cream (strawberry, of course), it was a sort of edible sculpture bearing the Kemps logo and the words “Celebrating 100 Years.” It was 5.5 feet tall and more than 6 feet wide, but it didn’t stay that way for long as festival attendees lined up for free samples all weekend long.
4. Most pubs visited
> Record: 46,495 since 1960
> When: Jan. 29, 2014
Former British Rail employee Bruce Masters of Flitwick, England, visited his first pub when he was 15, in 1960, but he didn’t decide to make pubs an obsession until 1971. (He says he remembered the ones he had visited previously at that point and wrote them down.) Though limiting himself to half a pint of beer — presumably of Guinness — at each establishment, he estimates that he has spent about £120,000 ($146,512 at current exchange rates) pursuing his passion.
5. Largest bubblegum bubble blown
> Record: 20 inches
> When: April 24, 2004
In a competition held at the Double Springs High School in Winston County, Alabama, 41-year-old Chad Fell blew this huge bubble — using three pieces of Dubble Bubble bubblegum — and held it for five minutes. He trained for the competition by chewing his way through two bags of bubblegum a week for years.
6. Most expensive cheesecake
> Record: $4,592.42
> When: Oct. 30, 2017
Naples-born chef Raffaele Ronca created this super-extravagant dessert at his Ristorante Rafele in New York’s Greenwich Village. What made it so expensive? Buffalo-milk ricotta imported from Italy, three shots of $2,500-a-bottle Hennessy Paradis cognac, ample slices of fresh white truffle (which itself holds a Guinness world record for most expensive fungus at $1,361 a pound — though the price can reach as high as $4,000), and then a sprinkling of gold flakes. The crust was based on homemade biscotti spread with a layer of ground hazelnuts and melted chocolate, and the whole cheesecake was topped with a block of honeycomb and a chocolate “RR” logo covered in gold leaf.
7. Largest collection of hamburger-related items
> Record: 3,724
> When: Sept. 20, 2014
German-born Harry Sperl, otherwise known as Hamburger Harry, who has lived in Florida since 1983, trades collectibles and novelties full-time. His avocation, though, is collecting anything related to burgers — from hamburger candles and dog toys to Big Boy statues and a hamburger-shaped waterbed. He even built himself a burger-themed Harley-Davidson, which he rides in Daytona’s annual Bike Week rally.
8. Most juice extracted from grapes by treading in 2 minutes (individual)
> Record: 20.3 liters (4.47 gallons)
> When: Sept. 13, 2008
“Pigéage” is the French word for the ancient practice of stomping wine grapes barefoot in a tub or barrel. But it is a German woman, Martina Servaty, who achieved this world record on the set of a Guinness World Records TV show in Cologne.
9. Longest noodle
> Record: 3,084.32 meters (10,119 feet, 1.92 inches)
> When: Oct. 28, 2017
A team of chefs at the Xiangnian Food Co. in Nanyang, China, spent 17 hours rolling out one continuous strip of dough into a noodle nearly 2 miles long and weighing more than 145 pounds. (It was coiled as it was made, not stretched out to its full length.) It was subsequently cut and cooked in a sauce of tomatoes, eggs, and garlic and served to 400 employees of the company and their guests.
10. Largest serving of pancakes
> Record: 12,716
> When: February 25, 2017
It took 16 chefs working for JSC MAFKA, a flour exporter in the Russian Federation, almost eight hours to cook all these crêpe-like Russian pancakes, or blinis, using batter mixed up the night before. The feat, achieved in Moscow, was in honor of Maslenitsa, an Eastern Slavic holiday celebrated the week before the beginning of Lent each spring.
11. Largest vegan cake
> Record: 462.4 kilograms (1019 pounds, 6 ounces)
> When: Nov. 3, 2017
Swedish YouTube star Therese Lindgren made this immense confection at a vegetarian cooking school in Stockholm. The semolina cake had an almond cream frosting and was topped with strawberries, lemon, and soy whipped cream. Lindgren’s team of six bakers wore shirts reading “I love animals and I love cake.” The finished product fed 2,000 people. Spectators enjoyed some of it and the rest was sent to an animal-rights event and a local retirement home.
12. Most layers in a sandwich
> Record: 60
> When: Oct. 22, 2016
The DiLusso Deli Company in New York City imported “food futurist” Dr. Irwin Adam Eydelnant, founder and Creative Scientific Director of Toronto’s Future Food Studio, a product development and consulting firm, to achieve this towering sandwich. He layered large slices of salami with mustard to achieve an impressive height. The sandwich had to stand on its own for one minute to qualify for the record.
13. Largest bottle of Scotch
> Record: 228 liters (60.23 gallons)
> When: Aug. 12, 2012
This huge bottle, which stood 5 feet and 7 inches tall, contained the equivalent of about 300 regular-size bottles of The Famous Grouse, the best-selling blended Scotch in Scotland. The whisky brand, which is owned by Edrington, whose portfolio also includes the revered single-malt whiskies Highland Park and The Macallan, is named for the red grouse. The hunting season in the U.K. for this game bird, much appreciated by gourmands, begins on Aug. 12 each year — known as “the Glorious Twelfth” — and the bottling honored that event.
14. Largest M&Ms mosaic
> Record: 49.59 square meters (533 square feet and 115 square inches)
> When: Sept. 29, 2017
Some 27 people took more than 17 hours to assemble this huge representation of the popular candy’s logo against a field of yellow with green and red borders at the headquarters of M&M’s parent company, Mars Incorporated, in Sofia, Bulgaria. Approximately 291,490 individual M&Ms were used.
15. Longest journey by a coffee-powered car
> Record: 337 kilometers (209.4 miles)
> When: March 2010
Mark Bacon modified a 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco to break down granules of coffee into carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The gas was cooled and filtered, then used to power the engine. The vehicle, which Bacon dubbed the Car-puccino, is said to have reached a speed of 60 miles per hour on its journey from London to Manchester, getting one mile per 56 espressos. In 2013, Bacon adapted another car to run on coffee, a Ford pickup. It reached a top speed of 65 mph.
16. Largest pizza
> Record: 1,261.65 square meters (13,580.28 square feet)
> When: Dec. 13, 2012
The Record Pizza Men, five chefs associated with NIPfood — a pizza promotional and educational enterprise — took 48 continuous hours and almost 20,000 pounds of flour to construct this vast cheese pizza at an NIPfood event in Rome. They gave it the nickname “Ottavia,” in honor of the first Roman emperor, Octavian Aug.us. Surprisingly, the pizza crust was was made with gluten-free flour — something rarely seen in Italy.
17. Most slices of carrot sliced while blindfolded in 30 seconds
> Record: 88
> When: July 12, 2017
YouTube celebrity sushi-maker Hirouyki Terada — his videos have logged more than 130 million views — achieved this finger-risking task on the set of “The F Word with Gordon Ramsay.” Terada’s NoVe Kitchen & Bar has since closed, and he now works as a private chef, doing catering and guest appearances.
18. Fastest sandwich made using feet
> Record: 1 minute, 57 seconds
> When: Nov. 10, 2000
Rob Williams of Austin, Texas, a member of the comedy juggling troupe The Flaming Idiots, made a look-ma-no-hands sandwich of bologna, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mustard, mayonnaise, and pickles, garnished with olives on cocktail sticks, in under two minutes. This included taking two slices of bread out of their package, removing the rind from the bologna, and taking the plastic off a slice of processed cheese.
19. Highest egg drop (unprotected)
> Record: 213 meters (699 feet)
> When: Aug. 22, 1994
Devising some kind of protective container that will keep an egg safe when dropped from a great height has long been a science-class challenge, but a man named David Donoghue tossed a fresh egg, totally unprotected, out of a helicopter onto a golf course in Blackpool, in Lancashire, England. Remarkably, it landed intact.
20. Most consecutive bottle bumps on the forearm (cocktail flairing)
> Record: 39
> When: March 4, 2011
Cocktail flairing is the practice of bartenders entertaining their customers by juggling and performing other tricks with bottles, cocktail shakers, and the like. Bouncing bottles off the arm is one such manoeuvre, and veteran Polish bartender Maciej Szymański set the record at the Warsaw Flair Challenge in the Polish capital.
21. Fastest time to eat all chocolates from an Advent calendar
> Record: 1 minute, 27.84 seconds
> When: Dec. 4, 2017
Professional competitive eater Kevin Thomas Strahle — known to YouTube fans as the L.A. Beast — opened all the little windows and unwrapped and consumed all the chocolates that were behind them as part of a Facebook Live broadcast at the Guinness World Records office in New York City. Strahle holds several other Guinness records, including most bhut jolokia peppers eaten in two minutes and fastest time to drink a 32-ounce bottle of maple syrup.
22. Largest collection of beer bottles
> Record: 25,866
> When: Jan. 27, 2012
Ron Werner of Carnation, Washington, northeast of Seattle, started collecting (empty) beer bottles when he was 14. He estimates that he adds another thousand or so examples every year. He also collects beer cans, tap handles, beer signs, and other suds-oriented materials.
23. Longest custom banana car
> Record: 6.97 meters (22 feet, 10.5 inches)
> When: 2011
British-born Michigan resident Steve Braithwaite sculpted polyurethane foam around chicken wire on the frame of a 1993 Ford F-150 pickup, covered it in fiberglass, and painted it to resemble a huge, sleek, four-wheel banana. The project cost Braithwaite about $25K. The car seats three people behind the driver, has a top speed of 85 mph, and gets about 15 miles to the gallon.
24. Most grapes stuffed in the mouth
> Record: 94
> When: February 16, 2018
In 2015, Upadhyaya managed to pack 88 grapes in his mouth, but his record was bested two years later by student Manoj Kumar Moharana, with 90 grapes. Upadhyaya regained the crown by making it 94 last year. A teacher and writer, Upadhyaya is an old pro at the Guinness game, currently holding some 68 world records — among them, most potatoes held in one hand, most vertical toothpick rotations in mouth in one minute, most times to insert a nail into nose in 30 seconds, and most matches put out on tongue in one minute.
25. Largest canned food structure
> Record: 247,580 cans
> When: March 3, 2011
Some 100 architecture students from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University and employees of the city’s Food Industry Network Co., Ltd., a food distribution company, constructed a model of Thailand’s House of Parliament, which was then under construction, using only cans of food. They built the model at the IMPACT Exhibition Centre in Nonthaburi, working for 18 hours. It measured over 12 feet high, about 28 feet long, and 56 feet wide.
26. Fastest time to peel 50 pounds of onions
> Record: 2 minutes, 39 seconds
> When: July 18, 2010
Competing at the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival in Walla Walla, Washington, Canadian-born TV food personality and author Bob Blumer — former host of Food Network’s “The Surreal Gourmet,” “Glutton for Punishment,” and “World’s Weirdest Restaurants” — peeled 31 onions in well under three minutes. The feat was documented on “Glutton for Punishment.”
27. Largest rabbit made of chocolate
> Record: 4,245.5 kilograms (9,359.7 pounds)
> When: February 25, 2017
It took a team of chocolatiers from Casa do Chocolate at the Shopping Uberaba mall in Uberaba, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, eight days to sculpt this gargantuan bunny. The completed lagomorph was almost 15 feet tall. There is no word on the rabbit’s fate.
28. Fastest marathon dressed as a chef (male)
> Record: 2 hours, 57 minutes, 36 seconds
> When: April 7, 2019
A sous-chef in the kitchen at Internat Solling, a prestigious private boarding school in the town of Holzminden, in Germany’s Lower Saxony region, Jan Kaschura decided to wear his chef’s whites when he competed in this year’s Hannover Marathon. By way of comparison, the fastest time recorded for men in the race, achieved by South African runner Lusapho April in 2013, was 2 hours, 8 minutes, and 32 seconds
29. Fastest marathon dressed as a chef (female)
> Record: 4 hours, 54 minutes, 49 seconds
> When: Sept. 24, 2016
Helen McWilliams’ time in the 2016 Akron Marathon in Ohio was considerably longer than Jan Kaschura’s in Germany. Though she’s not a chef — she’s a physical therapist and Kent State University instructor — she ran with a self-imposed chef-related handicap. Not only did she don a chef’s hat, jacket, and trousers,but she also ran carrying a 5-pound stock pot.
30. Most biscuits broken with the shoulder blades in one minute
> Record: 21
> When: March 24, 2010
British dentist Azim Malik, appearing on an episode of the Italian TV series called “Lo Show dei Record,” took off his shirt and crunched his shoulder blades together time and again, each time with a biscuit positioned between them. It is important to note that these were biscuits in the British, not the American, sense. That is, they were cookies — specifically, in this case, the coarse-textured, only slightly sweet variety known as digestive biscuits.
31. Greatest milk yield by a cow — lifetime
> Record: 216,891 kilograms (478,163 pounds)
> When: February 27, 2012
A Holstein cow named Smurf — full name Gillette Emperor Smurf EX-91 — was the most prolific milk-giver in the recorded history of dairy cows. A denizen of La Ferme Gillette, a dairy farm in Embrun, Ontario, Canada, she gave the equivalent of 57,380 gallons during her producing life. Her production was on record as she was tested once a month by an official measuring system used by farms internationally. Smurf lived to be 18 and died quietly on the farm in 2015.
32. Most canned drinks opened by a parrot in one minute
> Record: 35
> When: Jan. 12, 2012
Polly want a Coke? Macaws are called the giants of the parrot world, known for their large, strong beaks, capable of cracking open the hardest nuts and seeds. They can also apparently make short work of a pop-top, as Zac the Macaw, of San Jose, California, demonstrated. (Another California macaw, Gordon, set the record for the most bottle caps removed by a parrot in one minute in 2014, at 12.)
33. Farthest tortilla throw
> Record: 9.178 meters (30 feet, 1.34 inches)
> When: April 14, 2018
Colin Pischke and two fellow students at Notre Dame Collegiate high school in High River, in the Canadian province of Alberta, wanted to smash as many Guinness world records as possible while they attempted to raise $10,000 for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Pischke succeeded with this one, hurling a flour tortilla, Frisbee-like, more than twice as far as the previous record-holder had (at just over 13 feet).
34. Fastest time to drink 200 ml of mustard
> Record: 13.85 seconds
> When: May 12, 2018
Brooklynite Ashrita Furman is a health food store manager and multiple — and we do mean multiple — Guinness record-holder. He has set more than 700 records since 1979 and currently holds more than 200 of them, including the official record for the most official records held at the same time by one individual. These include most lit candles on a cake (48,523), longest distance somersaulted (12 miles, 390 yards), and fastest mile hula-hooping with milk bottle balanced on head (13 minutes, 51 seconds). Given his accomplishments, quaffing 0.85 cup of mustard in just over 13 seconds must have seemed like child’s play.
35. Strangest diet
> Record: 900 grams (1.98 pounds) of metal daily
> When: 1959
Michel Lotito of Grenoble, France, began eating metal and glass in 1959, after a glass he was drinking from broke and he began chewing the fragments. Known as Monsieur Mangetout (Mister Eat-Everything), he is said to have consumed 18 bicycles, 15 supermarket trolleys, seven TV sets, six chandeliers, two beds, a pair of skis, a computer, and a Cessna light aircraft. By 1997, he had swallowed an estimated 9 tons of metal. He died, supposedly of natural causes, at the age of 48.
Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor
Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.