Matzo ball eating contest at Ben’s Deli

Endless Simmer reports that a matzo ball eating contest returned to Ben’s Deli. The last IFOCE contest at that location occurred in 2004.

My fellow half-Jew friend Bethany and I recently attended the Beloit College Alumni Matzo Ball Eating Contest at Ben’s Deli in NY. We were both shocked be the yellow-yellow color of their balls – much more colorful than my aunt’s bullion instructions could possibly account for. When pressed, the chef admitted they added yellow food coloring for the extra effect. Why, I don’t know – I personally don’t like my Hanukkah feast to look like urine, but to each his own I guess.

Comments (10)


  1. Gentleman Joe said

    January 28, 2008 @ 9:37 am

    Ifoce to hold a Matzo ball eating contest w/a 3rd sponsor in the Jewish stronghold of Houston on 3/2.

    Joey Chesnut is listed as being confirmed. For those of you not already in the know, you too can participate for a suggested minimum of $250.

    This brings several questions.

    Is the ifoce going meatless??

    If so, will there be a Coney contest, or one in Tennessee this year??

    Who will run them if those contests occur??

    Who else will be “invited” ??

    Does Joey need to register for this event like the rest of the unwashed??

    What happens if he signs up late??

    Were Ruth & Gussie unhappy with the ifoce like Ben’s was??

  2. Wild Bill said (Registered September 19, 2006)

    January 28, 2008 @ 11:29 am

    Joe’s correct – here is the information from (had to search for it myself, as MLE/IFOCE has made no mention):

    Sunday March 2, 2008
    Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Deli (2327 Post Oak Blvd.) is hosting a matzoh ball eating contest to benefit the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and the Marvin Zindler Pancreatic Cancer Fund. The event, Matzoh Balls for Marvin, will be held inside Kenny & Ziggy’s at 2 pm. Zindler, one of Houston’s best-known media personalities, worked for KTRK-TV in Houston for 34 years. His hard-hitting investigative journalism represented the city’s elderly and working class and advocated health department compliance among Houston area restaurants with his weekly “rat and roach” report. Zindler died of pancreatic cancer in July 2007. The matzoh ball eating contest will be a sanctioned and nationally publicized event of MAJOR LEAGUE EATING & the INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF COMPETITIVE EATERS. Additionally, internationally known competitive eater, Joey Chestnut, is confirmed to be a participant in the matzoh ball eating contest. A minimum $250 donation is suggested to participate in the fundraiser and the number of competitive eaters is limited to 25 people. Contact kathy@guttmanadvertising for more details.

  3. Anonymous said

    January 28, 2008 @ 11:32 am

    That sounds more like a fundraiser than a contest. Probably aren’t any prizes. Probably Joey will be the only ranked eater there.

  4. Wild Bill said (Registered September 19, 2006)

    January 28, 2008 @ 11:32 am

    Here’s another one that’s supposed to be happening at the Friar’s Club on April 20, 2008 (or not):

    Matzo Ball Eating ContestAt the Friar’s Club
    This year`s competition is shaping up to be a clash of titans. Some of the top competitive eaters in the world are showing up to try and claim the title of Matzo Ball Eating Champion of the World. The impressive field of competiton includes Eric “Badlands” Booker returning to defend his title (20 balls) against the likes of Crazi Legs Conti the Oyster downing champ (34 dozen), Don Moses Lerman the butter champ (7 sticks in 5 minutes), and Ed Cookie Jarvis who is still smarting from the recent loss of his champoin rib eating title.

    The contest starts at 1pm at The Friar’s Club

    57 E. 55th St (between Madison and Park)

  5. Wild Bill said (Registered September 19, 2006)

    January 28, 2008 @ 11:36 am

    The Friar’s Club listing appears to be old. It doesn’t show up in the April schedule when you return to the master list.

  6. Anonymous said

    January 28, 2008 @ 11:40 am

    Are you kidding? Did you even think about that link before you posted it.

    Some moron at that website got a hold of an old press release for the 2005 matzo ball and then ran with it as if it had yet to happen. It’s an old contest.

  7. i was there said

    January 28, 2008 @ 11:57 am

    The friars club contest was one of the worst contests the IFOCE ever put together. It was very similar to carmines meatballs where they give you 6lbs of matzah balls and see how many you can eat in 10 min or so . There was so much debris in everyone plates it was impossible to judge. BB was supposed to come dressed as a rabbi but they felt it was mocking the jewish religion and it never happened.

  8. Wild Bill said (Registered September 19, 2006)

    January 28, 2008 @ 11:59 am

    I said “supposed to be”, anonymous a&& of 11:40 am. Has there been a contest at the Friar’s Club in the past? I don’t think so.

  9. Anonymous said

    January 28, 2008 @ 12:02 pm

    Yes, there has been a contest at the Friar’s Club. That old matzo ball contest was at the Friar’s Club.

  10. You were there? said

    January 28, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

    “I was there”, are you Brian? Wouldn’t you have to be? Who else would know that Brian was supposed to dress up as a rabbi but didn’t because the IFOCE told him not to?

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