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Man!! That's hot!!

A taste for jalapenos

Every country and ethnic group finds some way to celebrate their special food. Most of the time, these celebrations include "eating contests". The Japanese have tofu-eating contests, sushi-eating contests, and other eating contests that are best not even thought about. The Germans have schnitzel-eating contests, and of course, everyone's favorate - the beer drinking contests. The Great Southwest of the United States is no different. It's just that their favorite eating contest involves pain... lots of pain.

February 22, 2000
LAREDO, Texas -- Twenty-five people with cast-iron stomachs lined up Monday for an annual jalapeno eating contest in Larendo. With drinks close at hand, they vied for the top pepper eater.

The contest, sponsored by jalapeno producer, La Costena, was part of Larendo's yearly President's Day celebrations.

The winner, Jed Donahue, ate 5 pounds of grapes the night before to stretch out his stomach. The salesmanager has won the contest five out of seven years. This year, he took the contest by consuming a grand total of 105 peppers.

Affiliate WFAA contributed to this story.
Painfully spicy
Fabiola Carrillo struggled through the jalapeno-eating contest during De Soto's Cinco de Mayo Festival, which took place on May 8 this year. - Photo by Elvyn J. Jones for "The De Soto Explorer Online"

36 of them
The contest winner, 18-year-old Maria Rivera, consumed 37 peppers. Now, that's a real spice girl!


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