Maryland Seafood Festival

15 Sep
Maryland Seafood

Maryland Seafood Festival

Last weekend I had a friend from school come into town, who we’ll call ‘J’.  Trying to avoid downtown on Saturday, I thought we would head a little north to the Maryland Seafood Festival outside of Annapolis.  The two of us, plus friends Kareem and ‘G’ loaded into the car and hit the road around 1:00.  I had no idea what to expect, but I thought we’d at least have a beer and a delicious Maryland crab cake or two.

After seeing the schedule of events, one thing stood out above the rest.  The Crab Cake Eating Competition.  When we heard that it was just two hours away, all of the boys looked at each other, then looked at Kareem.  Oh man did I want Kareem to dominate that competition.

He, on the other hand, didn’t seem as excited.  It was clear that if anyone was going to participate, we all needed to participate.  So we signed up.

Maybe not the smartest thing we did that day, but about an hour before the competition, the four of us grabbed some sort of seafood plate.  Knowing that I would soon be stuffing my face with crab cakes, I decided to go for shrimp.  They were delicious, satisfying my hunger, and making me ever anxious about the race.

After taking a few laps around the grounds and sipping on a black and tan, it was time to head over to the main stage.  Here were the rules:  you were given 6 crab cakes, and had 3 minutes to finish as much as you could.  After the announcer said go, it only took about 45 seconds for J, Kareem and I to have totally different strategies.  Announcer yells, “wow, this woman is really taking off!”  We look up, and she has already had 2 crab cakes to our one each.  This was when Kareem said, “no way am I going to win.”  He slowed down and enjoyed Maryland’s finest.  J and I continue on for about another minute.  I begin to catch up, following her nearly bite for bite.  Unfortunately, J has started to slow down.  He looks at me and says, “you’re alone on this one, go for it.”  I take a deep breath and dive in.  4 cakes, 5 cakes, and with about 25 seconds to go, I began my 6th cake.  At this point I’m really starting to sweat, knowing not much more was going in that mouth.  The announcer yells “5 seconds” and all I hear is Kareem, J, and G all yelling “GO! GO!”  I shove as much as I can in my mouth and close it tight.

Maryland Seafood Festival

Kareem (left) looking at my scared, J (middle) nervously laughing, Me (right) doing everything I can to hold it in

All I have to do is swallow.  Sounds easy, right?  Well…wrong.  I can feel the blood rushing to my face, sweat is rolling down my cheeks, and tears forming below my eyes.  I look up and see J scoot his seat as far away from me as he can.  Kareem just keeps yelling, “oh my God, oh my God, oh my God…” and I look back down to the bucket.  As a camera is being shoved in my face, I hear someone from the crowd yell, “I think he is going to blow!”

I don’t know if it was luck, skill, or some divine force, but I didn’t end up wear those crab cakes after all.  I swallowed it down and looked over at the woman that had been leading.

I kid you not, she took the win with no more than one bite more than myself.

All in all the festival was wonderful.  After about 30 minutes of post-cometition digestion, I was pretty much over the loss (both physically and mentally).  The four of us had a great time sampling some more food and tasting what a few local vineyards had to offer.  I’ll definitely be back next year, but I believe my competitive eating career may already be over.

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One Response to “Maryland Seafood Festival”

  1. Allison September 15, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    I love it! I wish I could have been there to see it in person.

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