OK, here goes. What is 5m long, almost 2.5m wide and weighs a whopping 300kg? The Plumpest turkey? No, that gong went to Tyson of Peterborough in 1989 who weighed in at a poultry, sorry paltry, 39kg. The world’s largest flesh eating slug? Good try. Actually I’m talking about the world’s largest polvorón, a crumbly, Spanish almond biscuit.
Since 2001 the enterprising and indefatigable bakery, Mantecados La Muralla in Seville has made a gigantic polvorón annually which in December it has hauled around to various shopping centres from Madrid to Malaga for the enjoyment of 10,000 spectators who have queued up for a 30gm portion of the Christmas delicacy. This year it held the celebration in Malaga again and claims to hold the world record even if Guinness World Records has not awarded it official recognition.
Having consumed more than my fair share of stodge this yuletide, I felt queasy at the thought of the kilos of ingredients that went into it-120 of flour, 75 of almonds, 50 of butter and 50 of sugar. Mind you back in 1988 as a Guinness Book of Records invigilator, I once presided over the judging of the world’s biggest trifle in Weymouth which weighed a bilious 907 kilos. Then again lest we forget there was the making of the largest paella in Madrid a few years ago which fed 110,000 hungry guests and contained six tons of rice, 12 tons of chicken and rabbit, 5 tons of vegetables and 1,100 litres of oil. I was disappointed to learn that the latest record for the longest chorizo was achieved in Colombia, not Spain, and measured 1, 917.8m.
According to the latest edition of Guinness World Records the largest meatball was made in Ohio weighing 503.71 kg and boasting a 1.38m girth. Surely the Spanish could better that with the fabrication of a gigantic albóndiga?
It’s a guilty admission that despite having left my role as an international Guinness judge many moons ago I find it impossible not to peep occasionally at new records hitting the headlines. Of course the new version of the original book is a far cry from the more quirky, endearingly eccentric and academic tome that Norris McWhirter founded in 1955 and which carried the title, Guinness Book of Records. The word ‘book’ has now been ominously dropped. Perhaps a sign of the times.
These days gratuitously revolting and sensational records seem to squirm their way into the limelight, something McWhirter would never have condoned. All the same there’s nothing wrong with celebrating the world’s largest polvorón especially at Christmas. After all it really does takes the biscuit.
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