Hot dogs are a popular item on Fourth of July holiday menus, but one man from Massachusetts has consumed more than most. Geoff Esper celebrated Independence Day by inhaling 41 hot dogs at Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Contest.
Esper, a 43-year-old teacher from Oxford, is a well-known competitive eater and nationally ranked by the Major League of Eating. It is a title he has earned by competing in contest after contest.
Esper says he has eaten 83 slices of pizza in 10 minutes, 250 wings in 10 minutes and 238 marshmallow Peeps in five minutes.
He said the strangest food he has ever eaten in a contest is kale, and he prefers hot dogs over the leafy greens.
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"With hot dogs, you take two dogs and eat them as fast as you can. Then you dunk the buns and eat them," Esper said. "The buns are your liquid and if you chew, you lose."
His strategy earned him fourth place in Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Contest by consuming 41 hot dogs. Esper said he can easily eat more, and he hopes to one day finish in the top three by eating more than 60 hot dogs.
"If I eat over 10 to 12 pounds of anything, then I'm uncomfortable," Esper said.
NBC10 Boston sat down with Esper at Carl's Oxford Diner, where he said he once consumed 31 pancakes in one sitting.
"People sitting next to him are like, 'He's not going to eat any more is he,'" Gordon Cook of Carl's Diner said. "He's amazing. The guy can eat."
Esper said he also does a lot to offset the 16,000 calories he consumed at the hot dog contest on Coney Island by working out and eating healthy between competitions. However, it won't be long before he's back practicing because he is always hungry for more.
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"I'm going to do pizza in Canada, tacos in California," Esper said. "And then I have ice cream coming up, too."