It's now official.
It’s now official.
The Guinness World Records has certified the 1,110-pound meatball the Columbus Italian Club (CIC) created in October at the Columbus Italian Festival as the “world’s largest meatball.”
The CIC meatball, which took three days to cook, shatters the previous record held by a German group of 749.5 pounds.
“We’re ecstatic to have achieved the record in our second attempt,” said CIC member Rick Willimott, who coordinated the marketing for the meatball project.
“But the real reason we did it and what we’re really excited about is that we were able to raise close to $10,000 for our scholarship fund,” he said. “The real winners are the students who will benefit from our scholarship program.”
Although it is uncertain whether the meatball record will be included in the next print edition of the “Guinness Book of World Records,” the achievement will be posted on the Guinness world records website (www.guinnessworldrecords.com), Willimott said.
“Beating the old record by more than 300 pounds, we’re pretty confident this is a record that’s going to stand for a while,” he said.
The CIC prepared its meatball in a rounded vessel, which was placed in a handcrafted stainless steel oven that included faux bricks, stucco and a viewing window.
“It was a total team effort that required the efforts of dozens of people,” Willimott said.
A 250-page report that included eyewitness accounts, photos, data and other materials relating to the project had to be submitted to the Guinness records committee, he said.
“We had to shoot video 24/7 showing the meatball being cooked,” Willimott said.
“We could have arranged for a Guinness World Record official to come to Columbus to observe the meatball being cooked, but that would have been too cost-prohibitive,” he said. “We wouldn’t have ended up with any money for our scholarship fund.”
Last year’s record-breaking attempt fell short by about 94 pounds, but the experience helped the CIC determine what it had to do to reach the mark this year, Willimott said.
“We started out with a larger size meatball and cooked it more slowly so there was less drainage and we wouldn’t lose as much of the fat and juices,” he said.
The money for the scholarship fund was raised by gaining sponsors for the project, Willimott said.
“We had a great response from the community and our sponsors,” he said. “This project brought a lot of good attention to the Italian Festival, the Italian Club and our scholarship fund.”