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.