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The Tchoupitoulas Challenge…is quite the challenge

It’s no surprise that locals flock to the popular ice cream shop the Creole Creamery, as it boasts a wide variety of mouth-watering flavors, from basil leaf to blueberry pie and red velvet cake (my personal fave). This shop becomes both beacon of hope and godsend on those hot Louisiana summer days.

The ice cream here pays homage to the name, due to its creamiest of creamy texture.

When I dared to attempt the shop’s infamous Tchoupitoulas Challenge, however, that creamy texture skewed more toward pain than pleasure.

For those who have not grown up hearing the ancient lore about what is truly the king of all sundaes, the Tchoupitoulas Challenge is the shop’s claim to fame (you can only try it at the Prytania Street location). This monstrous beast consists of eight large scoops of ice cream and eight toppings, along with whip cream, fudge, sprinkles and cherries.

You can double or triple up on flavors and toppings, shrewdly strategizing how you are going to master the chilling feat. You have unlimited time to consume the thing — that is, until the shop closes at 11 p.m. If completed (you have to be, like, the Terminator or the equivalent), then your name gets put on a shiny gold plaque on the wall (there’s an online Hall of Fame as well).

Some Tchoupitoulas Challenge Figures:

Success rate: 5% … same as the likelihood that you’ll crack a tooth while biting down on a piece of popcorn (according to

Average time to complete: 3 to 4 hours…the length of a Saints game

World record: 6 minutes….and apparently the dude drank a beer afterward

Cost: 25 bucks…the cost of a pedicure

Calories: I don’t even want to go there

I think it’s the shiny plaque that draws male customers to the Tchoupitoulas Challenge, as the majority of those who try it are guys. Maybe it’s embedded in their DNA to impress the ladies by way of gorging themselves on an ungodly amount of dairy.

Boys will forever be a mystery to me.

But I thought it only fair to try it for myself. I put a lot of thought into my strategy:

My initial tactic was to order eight scoops of sugar-free vanilla (yeah, right, like that makes a difference). For my eight toppings, I tripled on strawberries, doubled up on pineapple and peanuts and added an order of Cap’n Crunch.

Mistake, all of it.

First of all, I don’t even like vanilla. I barely finished half before I was begging my sister Megan, who was gleefully witnessing my misfortune, to take it away. As Will Ferrell noted in Anchorman, “Milk was a bad a choice.”

And now I can’t even look at a pineapple without getting flashbacks; it’s like I have PTSD …  Post-Traumatic Sundae Disorder.

Needless to say, I did not win the Tchoupitoulas Challenge. I made it through two-thirds of the giant bowl before waving my white (napkin) flag.

Way, way too much dairy for me.

Now, having experienced failure first-hand, I give infinite props to whomever dominates the Tchoupitoulas Challenge.

Congratulations on your ability to mentally tell your stomach yes when it is pitifully sobbing no. You shall forever be granted bragging rights as you waltz through life thinking that you can do anything, because, with your Beowulf-like abilities, you have slain the Grendel of ice-cream sundaes.

Katherine Peck is an editorial intern at NolaVie.


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