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Stubs' Pickled Egg Contest - International Year of the Potato

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The Yolk's on You

For a couple of years, out of some sense of tradition, duty and perhaps penitence, BW's Nicholas Collias would risk digestive harmony in order to pit the iron will of his tastebuds against a bowl of pickled eggs.

The pickled egg eating contest is an annual challenge that's put Stubs Sports Pub in a crazy class all its own. The objective: Eat as many shelled and pickled hard-boiled eggs as possible in five minutes. The prize: a gift certificate to the joint. The number of ova you must digest in order to secure a win depends on the chutzpah of your competition. In 2004, 10 and a half eggs won Collias a fifth-place finish, but last year, a pathetic five got him seventh.

Think you have what it takes? This year's feeding happens February 23 at 4 p.m., which gives you a few days of training.

For more information, visit StubsPub.com or call 208-378-8273. Stubs Sports Pub, 12505 Chinden Blvd.

You Say Potato, the U.N. Says Year of the Potato

Idaho may be nicknamed the Potato State, but we got nothin' on the rest of the world when it comes to the Solanum tuberosum. In the Andean South American nation of Bolivia, the potato is believed to have originated, scientists estimate almost 250 different varieties of the tuber. (I can attest to the fact that it is entirely possible to spend a month in-country eating potatoes three meals a day every day without eating the same variety twice.) In Idaho, we grow a handful of different varieties, but almost all of them are russets.

And while Idaho may be the leading potato producer in the United States—the Idaho Potato Commission puts Idaho's annual production at 30 percent of the entire country's potato production—neither the state's 5.4 million tons nor the country's 19.7 million tons stands up to the more than 70 million tons produced by China.

Ah, but the potato is so much more than a mere root. It lives in American pop culture (Mr. Potato), has a place in history (Irish potato famine), is wedged into common vernacular (couch potato), has dabbled in politics (thank you, Dan Quayle) and as we Idahoans know, is a minor-deity in our Northwest state. In fact, I have a stress ball on my desk that looks just like a potato, which I like to huck at my co-workers during particularly stressful afternoons. The potato is also enjoying its very own year. Yes, it may be the year of the rat for the Chinese, but it's the International Year of the Potato for the world. So says the United Nations.

According to the United Nations, the world's population is expected to grow an average of 100 million people every year for the next two decades. In an effort to start planning for the burden of feeding a larger population, the UN is promoting the potato because it's easy to grow without much water, has lots of nutritional value and is a source of carbohydrates.

For more information on the year of the potato, visit Potato2008.org.

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