July 4th, 2013
02:45 PM ET
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Two competitive eating champions defended their title Thursday at New York's annual Independence Day hot dog eating competition.

Joey "Jaws" Chestnut of San Jose, California, snagged his seventh straight victory, and Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas of Alexandria, Virginia, defended her women's division title at the 98th annual hot dog chow down sponsored by Nathan's Famous.
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Filed under: Contests • Fourth of July • Hot dogs


Eaters vie for top spot at Coney Island hot dog eating contest
July 4th, 2013
10:15 AM ET
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From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans gobble down 818 hot dogs every second, according to National Hot Dog & Sausage Council statistics. On Independence Day alone, the people of this great nation devour approximately 150 million hot dogs.

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut hopes to be responsible for at least 69 of them. That's how many HDB (hot dogs and buns, in competitive eating speak) it would take to best his previous record of 68 in 10 minutes, set at the 2009 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. The former construction manager turned full-time competitive eater tied that stat last year, locking in his sixth consecutive victory at the Coney Island contest.
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Filed under: Contests • Events • Fourth of July • Hot dogs


Cider on the rise
July 3rd, 2013
06:00 PM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

There was a time, not that long ago, when it seemed like hard cider was consigned either to Rip Van Winkle-like New Englanders, long of beard and weird of brain, or the English. Well, that’s changed. In just the past few years, cider has become bizarrely popular: sales were up 62.6% in 2012. Woodchuck, the most popular brand, sold over two and a half million cases last year, and others weren’t far behind.

But cider and America have a long association. In fact, cider was far more popular than beer in Colonial times, largely due to the fact that it was a lot easier to grow apples than barley in New England. In the 1700s, we glugged cider like nobody’s business - about 35 gallons per year per person, on average. As a comparison, per person wine consumption in the US today is about 2.5 gallons per person, and beer is about 28 gallons per person.

Cider consumption may be minimal now compared to what it once was, but as I mentioned, it’s on the upswing. And there are some mighty good ciders out there. Here are a few, some from the U.S. and some from overseas, and all of them ideal for drinking icy-cold at a July 4th picnic - or any time, really.
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Filed under: Cider • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Fourth of July • Sip


July 4th, 2012
02:15 PM ET
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July 4th, 2012
10:00 AM ET
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The two reigning champs of a hot dog eating contest joined their challengers for a weigh-in as they hope to devour their way into the record books Wednesday in New York City.

Joey "Jaws" Chestnut and Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas, the male and female champions respectively, will defend their titles at the annual event in Brooklyn.
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Filed under: Contests • Events • Fourth of July • Hot dogs • Stunt • Weird News


Patriotic pours for the Fourth of July
July 3rd, 2012
11:00 AM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

Fourth of July is one of the biggest outdoor bashes of the year. (For one thing, shooting off fireworks indoors is always a sketchy idea). And unless you’re a Revolutionary War reenactment actor - in which case, you’ll be eating dried beef and fire cake, a not-so-tasty mix of flour and water scorched over a campfire - then you’re probably heading down the classic hamburger, hot dog and potato salad route.

So what to bring along for the wine drinkers? (The beer drinkers are legion and can fend for themselves.) Look at it this way: It’s hot. So, whether white or red, you want something that will taste good at least moderately chilled down. Also, it’s a picnic. Save your cash for the Roman candles and buy something inexpensive. And finally, it’s July 4. Pour something from the U.S. After all, there are more than 6,500 wineries in America - certainly one of them must be producing something you’d like.
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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Fourth of July • Holidays • Sip • Wine


July 6th, 2011
04:15 PM ET
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Food says so much about where you’ve come from, where you’ve decided to go, and the lessons you’ve learned. It’s geography, politics, tradition, belief and so much more and this week, we invite you to dig in and discover the rich, ever-evolving taste of America in 2011. The week will culminate with a Secret Supper in New York City, and Eatocracy invites you to participate online starting Monday July 11th at 6:30 p.m. E.T.

Douglas Jones works at CNN International

We were at a lake in east Tennessee on U.S. Independence Day weekend when someone’s grandfather brought out three glass jars and started passing around the flavored moonshine. In these parts, it wasn’t a surprise.

We had just returned to camp and already the barbecue grills were sizzling. The coolers were open and you could hear that crisp rush of ice falling as hands pulled out more cold beers.

We were three Americans from CNN who went to Tennessee to show a group of international journalists a bit of Americana on the most American time of the year: 4th of July weekend.

Fresh out of the lake water and still drying off, our group was exhausted after a trip on the Tennessee River catching catfish with our hands. It’s a practice called catfish “noodling” or “grabbling”.
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Filed under: BackStory • Fourth of July • Moonshine • Sip • Southern • Spirits • Stunt Booze • Television


July 4th, 2011
04:45 PM ET
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Joey Chestnut has won his 5th consecutive mustard-yellow belt at this year's Nathan's July 4th International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island.

He ate 62 hot dogs in ten minutes, six shy of his world record of 68.

Adding intrigue to this year's competition, one-time reigning champ Takeru Kobayashi, who was effectively locked out of the competition due to a contract dispute with Major League Eating, wolfed down 69 frankfurters at an offsite event in New York.

Read Joey Chestnut wins Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest for fifth time

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Filed under: Contests • Fourth of July • Holidays • Stunt • Weird News


July 4th, 2011
04:30 PM ET
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CNN contributor Pete Dominick and Eatocracy's managing editor Kat Kinsman talk with Newsroom's Deb Feyerick about the annual Nathan's Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Competition, a survey on beach behavior and the aesthetic appeal of the mankini.



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