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Monday, 2 September, 2002, 02:51 GMT 03:51 UK
Kebabs and salad 'set new records'
Villages soon polished off the 100-metre kebab
Shashlyk is a traditional dish in the Caucasus
Huge helpings of kebabs and potato salad have been served up in pursuit of world records in a small Russian village and the Baltic state of Latvia.

Kebab chefs in the North Caucasus have had a 106-metre specimen included in the Guinness Book of Records, according to Russian satellite TV channel NTV Mir.

Meanwhile, in the former Soviet republic of Latvia, a three-tonne potato salad claimed another culinary record.

The massive bowl of traditional Latvian Rasols salad surpassed the previous record - 2,500 kg of Caesar salad made in New York in 2001 - and took only 30 minutes to be devoured.

Meatfest

In the highland village of Bobugent in the republic of Kabarda-Balkaria - not far from the restive region of Chechnya - hundreds were fed with just one skewer of roasted meat.

Salad ingredients
940 kg potatoes
340 kg carrots
560 kg sausage
6,000 boiled eggs
310 kg pickled cucumbers
200 kg green peas
15 kg salt
500 kg mayonnaise
To qualify for the record, all the ingredients had to be prepared by hand, with no labour-saving machines involved.

The preparation of the kebab - a traditional food in the Caucasus known as shashlyk - was overseen by Guinness representatives and by many of the area's more elderly residents.

A hundred kilograms of lamb were marinated, threaded onto the 106-metre skewer and roasted over a barbecue the same length.

Dozens of helpers turned the kebab as it cooked.

After 30 minutes, the local inhabitants gathered at a long table and ate the kebab, attesting to its quality and declaring their pride in the traditional dish.

According to NTV, the locals said that despite that their love of fatty meat, there were 60 people in the area who were over a 100 years old.

3,000 guests

A rather more balanced diet could have been achieved in conjunction with their former countrymen in the Latvian capital, Riga.

Another Guinness record was set there with 120 people gathering at 7 am to prepare the giant Rasols salad, the Latvian news agency LETA reported.

The kebab was roasted over an open fire
Dozens of cooks put the kebab on the fire

The record-breakers had to chop 940 kg of boiled potatoes, 340 kg of boiled carrots, 560 kg of sausage, 6,000 boiled eggs and 310 kg of pickled cucumbers.

Into the bowl went another 200 kg of green peas, 15 kg of salt and 500 kg of mayonnaise.

The giant bowl of salad then weighed in at the new mark of 3,280 kg and was doled out to more than 3,000 guests.

In half an hour it was gone.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

See also:

04 Aug 02 | Americas
25 Jul 02 | England
15 Jul 02 | England
16 Jun 02 | England
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