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The Largest Versions of 8 Delicious Foods

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1. Pizza

The world’s largest commercially available pizza didn’t come from New York City or Chicago. The prize actually goes to the Dirt Road Cookers in San Antonio, Texas, who broke the record this past August. Their pizza was more than 46 square feet, and weighed 100 pounds. But that’s small time compared to the 26,883-pound pizza made by South Africa’s Norwood Hypermarket in 1990. Or the more than 51,000-pound, gluten-free pizza created by Dovilio Nardi, an Italian, in 2012. Because pizza lovers are apparently very specific, theses pizzas can all call themselves world-record holders.

While the Pizza Boss pizza cutter might not be able to handle a 51,000-pound pie, it should be much, much more than sufficient for any pizza you cook up in your home oven.

2. Chocolate Chip Cookie

Immaculate Baking Company

The world’s largest cookie was created by the Immaculate Baking Company in 2003. After eight months of planning—which included strategizing, building a special oven, test baking, and acquiring 40,000 pounds of ingredients—the bakers set to work in a field next to Immaculate Baking’s Flat Rock, N.C., store. The final product was 102 feet wide, beating the previous record holder by about 20 feet. Immaculate Baking sold pieces of the cookie for $10, with proceeds going toward the building of a folk artist museum.

For your own, potentially less epic, cookie-baking, try the new baking gift set from our store!

3. Pumpkin Pie

The New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers of New Bremen, Ohio, put those giant pumpkins to good use in 2010 when they created the world’s largest pumpkin pie. It was 20 feet in diameter and weighed nearly 3700 pounds, destroying New Bremen’s previous world record pie, which measured 12 feet and weighed a measly 2020 pounds.

This holiday season, try removing your pumpkin pies from the oven with the Poppin' Hot Oven Mitt.

4. Ice Cream Cone

World Record Academy

Officially, the world’s largest ice cream cone was made in Italy and was actually filled with gelato (of course). The internal part of the cone, which was 9 feet tall, consisted of a mix of wafer and white chocolate, and was then decorated with 2,000 round wafer biscuits. But according to reports, this record was beaten in 2012 by experimental chef Heston Blumenthal in Gloucester, England. His cone was a staggering 13 feet high and held more than 2,200 pounds of ice cream, leading to serious brain freeze.

Turn the work of making ice cream into play with the Ice Cream Ball ice cream maker. Good luck making 2,200 pounds!

5. Salad

Who said being the world’s biggest meant you had to be unhealthy? The largest salad was created by more than 600 volunteers in Crete, Greece, and weighed almost 30,000 pounds. In true Greek style, the fixings included tomatoes, cucumber, onions, green peppers, feta cheese, olive oil, oregano, and salt. In other salad news, the dining services team at the University of Massachusetts made the world’s largest fruit salad this month, weighing in at nearly 7000 pounds. The salad included basic fruit, like grapes and apples, as well as lychee and dragonfruit. I wonder if those college kids still opted for cheese fries in the dining hall?

Try fixing up your own healthy goodness in style with the Hands on Salad Bowl.

6. Burrito

CBRiveras

For some of us, burritos are big enough as is. But that didn’t stop CANIRAC La Paz, in Mexico, from creating one that weighed nearly 13,000 pounds in 2010. The burrito was filled with fish, onion, chile, and refried beans. Most impressive? It was made from a single flour tortilla and required 3,000 volunteers to fill and roll it.

Use the colorful Nest 9 Plus stacking prep bowls to serve up all the fixin's for your next giant burrito night!

7. Cupcakes

The bakers at Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, D.C.—who also have their own TLC reality show, DC Cupcakes—hold the record for the world’s largest cupcake. It weighed more than 2,500 pounds, stood at 3 feet tall, and was 56 inches in diameter. The oven and pan used to bake the cupcake were both custom made for the endeavor, which was featured on an hour-long DC Cupcakes episode.

We can't promise you your own reality show, but we can show you this Batterfinger spatula that comes in handy when you want to sample the batter of your own homemade treats!

8. Cocktail

After all that big food, what could be more perfect than a giant margarita to wash it down? The “Calarita Margarita,” a concoction made by Nick Nicora in Sacramento, California, consisted of 2100 gallons of Jose Cuervo tequila, 4 gallons of Cointreau, 2800 gallons of margarita mix, 75 40-pound bags of ice, 5190 gallons of water, and 50 gallons of lime juice. A 30-foot-tall “cocktail shaker” was also crafted for the event. Nicora has been trying his hand at big food for a few years now: he helped create a 777-pound, 1.3 million-calorie hamburger in 2011.

Become a mad scientist of mixology yourself with the Chemistry Cocktail Set!

These and plenty more BIG time fun, geeky products for the Smart Chef in the Foodie section of the Floss online store! Plus free shipping this week on orders over $50!

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Big Questions
Why Do People Drink Mint Juleps at the Kentucky Derby?
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Whether you plan to enjoy the race from Churchill Downs or don an elaborate hat in the comfort of your own home, if you're watching the Kentucky Derby, you may find yourself sipping on a refreshing mint julep this weekend. But, why?

The drink—a cocktail traditionally composed of bourbon, sugar, water, and mint—has been a Kentucky favorite since long before Churchill Downs came into play. In fact, in 1816, silver julep cups were given as prizes at Kentucky county fairs (a change from the stuffed animals they offer today). And before that, a “julep” was considered medicinal, “prescribed” for stomach problems and sore throats.

Though mint juleps have likely been enjoyed at the Kentucky Derby since the beginning—legend has it that founder Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., planted mint for cocktails when he founded the track in 1875—the cocktail wasn’t declared the “official” Derby drink until 1938.

It was just a few years ago that the Derby switched to a more “authentic” version of the mint julep. For almost two decades, the 120,000 mint juleps served at the races were made with Early Times. Based on the aging process, Early Times isn’t considered bourbon (just “Kentucky whisky”) in the U.S. In 2015, they switched to Old Forester, which is also owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation.

Even with the switch to “real” bourbon, what most revelers actually get is the Old Forester Ready-to-Serve Cocktail mix, not a handcrafted mint julep—unless you’re willing to pony up $1000. For the past 13 years, Brown-Forman has served a special version of the drink made with Woodford Reserve small batch bourbon. It’ll set you back a grand, but hey, you get to keep the pewter cup—and proceeds benefit the Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund (yes, that Jennifer Lawrence). In 2016, the Oscar-winning actress—and Louisville native—founded the organization "to assist and empower organizations that fulfill children's needs and drives art access to positively impact the lives of young people."

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Animals
The Surprising Role Bats Play in Making Your Margarita
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The next time you have a margarita, raise your glass to the humble bat. Long-nosed bats are the main pollinators of agave, the plant used to make both tequila and mezcal. (Tequila is specifically made from blue agave, or Agave tequilana, while mezcal can be made from any species of the plant.) These agave plants open their flowers at night, attracting bats with their sugary nectar, and in turn, the bats help spread their pollen.

One of those bats, the lesser long-nosed bat, just got off the endangered species list in April 2018, as The Washington Post reported. It's the first bat species ever to recover its population enough to be taken off the Endangered Species List. Its revival is due, in part, to tequila producers along the bat's migration route between Mexico and the southwestern U.S. making their growing methods a little more bat-friendly.

While the relationship between bats and agave might be mutualistic, the one between bats and booze isn't necessarily so. Typical agave production for tequila and mezcal involves harvesting the plant right before it reaches sexual maturity—the flowering stage—because that's when its sugar content peaks, and because after the plant flowers, it dies. Instead of letting the plants reproduce naturally through pollination, farmers plant the clones that grow at the agave plant's base, known as hijuelos. That means fields of agave get razed before bats get the chance to feed off those plants. This method is bad for bats, but it's not great for agave, either; over time, it leads to inbred plants that have lower genetic diversity than their cross-pollinated cousins, ones that require more and more pesticides to keep them healthy.

Rodrigo Medellín, an ecologist who has been nicknamed the "Bat Man of Mexico," has been leading the crusade for bat-friendly tequila for decades, trying to convince tequila producers to let some of just 5 percent of their plants flower. The Tequila Interchange Project—a nonprofit organization made up of tequila producers, scientists, and tequila enthusiasts—led to the release of three bat-friendly agave liquors in the U.S. in 2016: two tequilas, Siembra Valles Ancestral and Tequila Ocho, and a mezcal, Don Mateo de la Sierra.

In 2017, when Medellín and his team visited the agave fields of Don Mateo de la Sierra to gather data, they discovered that the project was even more bat-friendly than they thought. The Mexican long-nosed bat, another endangered species, was also taking its meals at the field's flowering plants.

This weekend, raise a glass of tequila to all the bats out there—just make sure it's a bat-friendly brand.

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