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A photo essay: How to succeed in life by succeeding in burrito-eating competitions.

by sam. 21 may 2011

The background to this can be summarized as such: my business associate Ben and I ate 4 lb burritos in a short amount of time as part of a contest. For the full details check out the LIVEBLOG.

Warm-Up Burrito
The night before, it is crucial to eat a burrito (estimated at 1.2 pounds) from Zaragosa for practice. This should be complemented by two slices of $0.99 pizza immediately before bed, to keep the stomach expanded.

Wake up a few hours before the contest and eat a light breakfast the morning-of, followed by a short run to activate the metabolism and digest out the last remnants of the previous day's food.

Collecting all the ingredients and gaze at them for several hours. First think about how delicious each one is individually, then how delicious they will be joined as one.

Llama fetus
About two hours before the contest begins, hang your good-luck llama fetus on the wall - this gives a bit of time for the oil to heat up and circulate around the fetus-engine. This li'l guy truly smiled upon us the whole contest long!

Synchronize your clocks to the time.gov standard. In a contest where every second counts, accurate timekeeping is essential.

Once all the ingredients are ready and properly visualized, lay out your 1/2 lb base of tortillas on some sort of large object (cookie sheet, cutting board).

Add rice
Add 3/4 lb of cooked rice to the tortillas.

If carrying out the contest with a partner, make sure the rice is split equitably.

Layer the 3/4 lb of beans on top of the rice. I planned to start eating from the right, so I slightly overloaded the burrito to that side, ensuring that my task would get easier as time (inevitably) marched on.

Measure cheese
Measure your cheese to make sure you have the right amount. In case you want to know the rest of the slogan which inspired me throughout the contest: "EDUCATION... Knowledge For Life"

Once you are absolutely certain you have exactly 1/4 lb of cheese, spread it evenly across your bean-rice mountain.

Add 1 lb of meat on top of everything. We had slightly more chicken than steak, so I concentrated the steak on the right side, and spread the chicken over the rest.

SPOILER ALERT: it's really hard to roll a burrito this big. But just keep practicing!

If your burrito-rolling surface is insufficiently large to contain all your food, you may make a cylindrical burrito - in essence, a burrito with an extremely large girth and extremely short length, turned on its side. This is somewhat similar to the Crunchwrap Supreme.

Lather your burrito with 1/4 lb salsa, 1/4 lb sour cream, and 1/4 lb guacamole.

eating space
Your burrito is ready to eat! Prepare an eating space, collect your utensils, and await the opening bell.

Sad monkey
I have a bad feeling about this...

Begin eating! Activate your 45 minute timer.

5 minutes
5 minutes in - making respectable progress. Monkey still upright.

10 minutes
10 minutes in. Caution thrown to the winds. Monkey knocked over, burrito partially rotated, filling explosion resulting from catastrophic rupture in rear wall.

15 minutes
15 minutes in. At this point, I texted my business associate Bryn: 'Not that hungry anymore but optimistic'

20 minutes
20 minutes in. The end is in sight.

25 minutes
25 minutes in. Savoring those last few bites. Monkey back on his feet.

27 minutes
27 minutes, 30 seconds. Officially finished with a CPC Phase One completion status: 'All food items which can be picked up with a fork consumed. Certain liquid or miniscule items (i.e. salsa residue) may remain.' Free t-shirt earned (though unfortunately does not exist).

Phase Two
At the end of the 45 minute contest, I had thumbed my plate clean and achieved a comfortable CPC Phase Two completion status: 'Plate must be clean enough as to attract no notice if placed directly back into cupboard, pre-washing.'

Ben Phase Two
An alternate strategy for reaching CPC Phase Two completion status: rinsing with water from your cup, and drinking the greywater. Equally valid and successful!

Don't worry, utensils were also at CPC Phase Two completion status!

This looks like victory to me.