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America's largest pizzas

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A well-done pizza rarely goes unnoticed. America is a country that seems to survive on three main food groups (pizza, hot dogs, and burgers), and each American undoubtedly has a special relationship with a great pizza. With the unlimited combination of toppings, cheeses, and styles available, pizza-making is a veritable art form here. Now, envision the combination of Americans’ love for pizza and the love for all things super-sized. Across the country, from the West to the East Coast, pizzerias have been besting their competitors not just with new flavors or outrageous toppings, but also with larger and larger sizes.

The Guinness World Record for the largest pizza in the world goes to a pie that was created in South Africa in 1990. Weighing in at 26,883 pounds, this gargantuan pizza used almost 10,000 pounds of flour and measured 122.6 feet. And while there isn’t another pizza of that monstrosity lurking out there, some pizza chefs are definitely sizing up this world record.

Many of the pizzas included in this list are the focus of eating competitions, and often stump competitors who couldn’t rise to the occasion. Many of these pies were chosen based on size, ranging anywhere from 22-inches to 36-inches in diameter (most standard large pizzas are 14-inches in diameter) and topping out at 50,000 slices. Some are simple cheese and tomato pies, while others are much more elaborate and stuffed with an array of toppings.

Pizza Ranch Restaurant, Iowa Falls, Iowa

Pizza Size: 129-by-92 feet (though according to some sources, it was even bigger at 129-by-98 feet), 50,000 slices

In June 2005, Bill Bahr, assistant manager of the Pizza Ranch in Iowa Falls, Iowa, attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest pizza. The pie totaled 50,000 slices — not quite large enough to top the reigning champ. With the help of 200 volunteers, the entire pie took two hours to assemble.

Red Devil Pizza's Pizza Challenge, Granada Hills, Calif.

Pizza Challenge: One 28-inch pizza to be eaten by two people in half an hour.

This four-topping, 28-inch pizza challenge is a feat for any couple that dares to take it on. At Red Devil, this monstrous pizza must be eaten in half an hour. The rules don't stop here, though — the contestants must also be at least 16 years old, they cannot walk around during the challenge, they must successfully digest the pizza, and they must pay for the pizza if they do not complete the task. The victorious few however, get their pizza paid for, a certificate for a second 28-inch pie, a Red Devil T-shirt, and their photo of the wall of fame.

Big Pie in the Sky’s Carnivore Challenge, Kennesaw, Ga.

Pizza Challenge: One 11-pound pizza to be eaten in less than an hour.

For $50, you can try to win yourself an extra $200 at Big Pie in the Sky, in Kennesaw, Ga. However, the challenge requires that two people eat an 11-pound pizza in one hour.

24 Church Avenue Italian Sideboard & Spirits, Roanoke, Va.

Pizza Size: 36-inch pie

As part of their late-night specials menu, 24 Church Avenue Italian Sideboard & Spirits offers mammoth slices of pizza cut from a 36-inch pie. The slices measure 12-inches wide at the crust. While there is no challenge yet at this pizzeria for devouring their extra-large 36-inch pie, it would hardly be a shock if in the near future, people start lining up to wolf down this pie in less than an hour.

Barlo’s Pizzeria’s Big 29 Challenge, Indianapolis

Pizza Challenge: One 29-inch pie to be eaten less than an hour.

The Big 29 challenge’s name says it all — those who are daring enough to participate in the challenge at Barlo's in Indianapolis must eat a 29-inch pie in an hour. The minimum payout for the challenge (one topping, one hour) is $300, but for every failed trial the owner adds $10 to the pot, meaning that the payout could be as high as $1,000.

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