Meatballs are fun. They make for delicious spaghetti ornaments, tasty stand-alone snacks, and my favorite Aqua Teen Hunger Force character. But it’s not every day that you get to ponder an 800-pound meatball. An orb of that girth would break the Guinness Record for World’s Largest Meatball. So this Friday night at the Columbus Italian Festival, that’s what the Columbus Italian Club plans on doing.
It takes 1,100 pounds of ground sirloin, an enormous custom-built convection oven, and a lot of heart to make an 800-pound meatball. Members of the CIC have all three. Under the direction of chef Rismo Gualtieri, they’ll begin building their meatball this Wednesday and will haul it over to the festival in Italian Village on Friday. On Friday night, after the center of the meatball reaches 160 degrees, a Guinness Record representative will determine if the world record has been achieved.
Proceeds from the 800-pound meatball attempt will benefit the CIC’s Education Assistance Scholarship Program, which awards scholarships to deserving Central Ohio high school students of Italian descent. To date, the scholarship program has awarded nearly $200,000 to more than 150 students in the Columbus community.
“We’re very excited about our world record meatball attempt,” said Chris Beardman, World’s Largest Meatball chairman and CIC past president. “We feel confident that we’ll break the record, but providing educational opportunities for local high school seniors is the real goal of our hard work.”
The Columbus Italian Club was founded in 1978 to promote and preserve Italian culture and heritage in the Italian-American community. With more than 260 members, it encourages fellowship and networking through celebration of Italian heritage. Visit cicmeatball.com, columbusitalianfestival.com, and columbusitalianclub.org for more information.
Alexandra Kelley is a featured writer for Columbus Underground. Visit alexandra477.com for more information.