Most Gluttonous Person, Place, or Thing: An East Bay outpost of our national lust for maize

Brentwood Cornfest

Some eating contests are a walk in the park. Hot dogs? You just shove ’em in your mouth. Grilled cheese? Just open wide. But corn — now that takes some skill. You hold a boiling-hot ear with your scorched fingers, lift it to your mouth, and saw away like a manual typewriter. Kernels smear all over your face, and the ravaged ears pile up around you like the dead at Flanders Field. The Brentwood corn festival has held an eating contest for thirteen years, and its fourteenth test of courage will take place this July at Brentwood City Park. While you’re shoving starchy goodness down your throat, the kids will be busy breaking their necks at the miniature John Deere tractor races. Fireworks will explode over your head, and blues artist Elvin Bishop (who grew up on an Iowa farm, natch) will twang away. Stretch out that stomach lining. You’ve got work to do.

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