Off the Beaten Track: MEN-agerie Versus Food!

Three ordinary students entered Yellow Cab-Taft with much anticipation and hunger etched on their faces. They had mentally and physically prepared themselves (particularly their stomachs) for this day. They had not eaten breakfast or lunch; they would need all the space in their digestive systems. May the spirit of Adam Richman be with them in their endeavor.

Man V. Food!

Who is Adam Richman? No, do not confuse him with Allan Rickman; Richman is not popular for revealing himself as the Half-Blood Prince. Adam Richman is the host of a television show Man V. Food, which airs on Travel Channel. Already appetizing? Definitely.

Richman describes himself as a food enthusiast. He goes all around America looking for worthy food challenges that would dare meet his palate and digestive system.

Decisions, decisions

In the Philippines, the definition of “food tripping” or “pigging out” is quite different from the idea of our fellow Western food enthusiasts. Filipinos are not known for intense heavy eaters as the taste of the food is highly considered during dining.

Savoring the flavor takes time compared to devouring.  Filipino appetite is not as big as the Westerner’s, and our food intake does not compare to that of the Americans. The proof is Supersize Me, the movie that closely relates typical American dining with carbs and fats.

Our very own staffers stepped up the plate and bravely decided to do the challenge. Nath, Macy and Dwight bordered on taking burger challenges but Yellow Cab did all the thinking for them: pizza.

Who would ever expect two girls would think they could take on a pizza challenge? Naturally, girls are expected to be weak in food intake compared with guys; they just have to keep a slim body so either they eat little or moderately, or not at all.

Nath and Macy were absolutely hungry to challenge this stereotypical situation. Salad, sandwiches, calorie-counting? Bah ham-bug! Not today.

Dwight, on the other hand, thought of something different. He was the only guy after all so he thought he could do more than a simple pizza challenge which any guy his age could do. Adding a little bit of hot and spice might as well do the trick.

The girls…

The challenge begins. Both Macy and Nath got started on their own box each of fourteen-inch pepperoni pizza while Dwight got started on one out of two boxes of spicy Charlie Chan pastas.

As Macy bites on her first slice of pizza, she was feeling good, partly because her hunger will finally be appeased and because the pizza tasted so good. Try not eating for around five to six hours; that first bite will be just heavenly.

Macy finished the first slice quickly enough and reached out for her next slice. The second slice was just as easy to consume. Macy was feeling pretty good but then she felt it—the thirst. She opted for water, not soft drink, so she wouldn’t feel bloated.

By the third slice, Macy was slowing down already, but a glimpse at her fellow challenger Nath surprised Macy because Nath was one slice ahead.

Nath can normally eat at most three slices of regular sized pizza. This time, she made sure she could devour more than that. She knew that there was a big possibility that she will get not only her hands, but her face dirty.

Her pace slowed down during her fourth slice as she began to feel heavier by the second. Casual conversations from the photographers Ian and Fritz did a bit of help though since it made her forget about the heavy feeling.

Alas, the fourteen-inch pizza challenge was not for Macy and Nath at all. By the fourth slice, Macy waved the white flag, admitting defeat. On the other hand (or seat), Nath still kept going. Seeing Macy stop made her want to succeed even more. Eventually though, Nath also had to throw in the white flag after her sixth slice. She knew she could not go on further because she was very close to throwing up.

Now the only thing left for them to do is to avoid eating pizza for a month (or more) and their stomach will be just fine.

And the boy

Dwight is not a fan of Yellow Cab pizza primarily because of the cheese. To be able to stomach a large 14-inch pizza like Nath and Macy would be unthinkable since Dwight has, not only a dislike for cheese, but also a weak stomach.

However, he did fancy the Charlie Chan pasta, which was not appetizing either but still worth a shot. Nath and Macy warned Dwight that the pasta can be a little spicy but he shrugged this off thinking that he has tasted worse. He also ordered two tortilla soups in an effort to avert the seemingly monotonous taste of pasta.

The two boxes came as quickly as the soups arrived. Dwight surveyed the boxes and noticed that with about four inches tall and two inches wide, the challenge would be a synch. Expecting a less than half serving per box, he opened it only to find out the entire box was full.

Dwight took the first bite out of the box of the Charlie Chan pastas in hope that by starting quickly the challenge will end just as quickly. The onion leeks, the chicken and the mushrooms all tasted like nothing more than the spicy sauce that Yellow Cab used on the pasta.

Dwight, feeling the need to relieve the burning sensation, attempted to drink the soup, but it only worsened his discomfort.

After finishing the first box of pasta and the first bowl of soup, he went on to open the next box, which seemed to contain more pasta than the last. In a few minutes, the pasta seemed unending and the spice was just too unbearable.

He finally he gave up thinking that he would as soon throw up if he finishes everything. With a last bit of effort and Nath’s encouragement, he finished up to about more than half of the second helping of pasta and gave up.

Double the Fun…and Stomach Pain

For those who think they have stronger tummies than that of Macy, Nath, and Dwight and plan to embark on one, er, delicious food challenge, here are a couple of tips:

  • Know Your Limits

It is highly important to know what your body can digest just in a limited amount of time to avoid any unwanted pains or indigestion.

  • Try not to drink too much water

Macy made a big mistake when she kept drinking water after most bites. If possible, avoid too much of it (or any other drink) since it can add to the heavy feeling.

  • Have fun!

It’s no use trying to do a food challenge unless you’re really up for it. It doesn’t hurt to bring a couple of good friends along. In fact, it would double the fun!

Nathalia Tolentino

By Nathalia Tolentino

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