CAFE at the End of the Universe, in Warrington Market, has re-launched its '42 food challenge.'

In keeping with the sci-fi nature of the takeaway, the '42' challenge was named after a pun in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

I'll be honest - I've never undertaken a food challenge before, and I was given two days' notice before I did this one.

That should've been a sign.

Included in the food challenge are 42 delicious items that must be eaten within 30 minutes, which are:

  • One bacon double-cheeseburger
  • One K9 hotdog
  • Three corn dogs
  • 10 onion rings
  • Six jalapeno poppers
  • 10 chipotle boneless chicken wings
  • 10 barbecue boneless chicken wings
  • One (very) large portion of fries

As I said above, I've never done a food challenge before, and this one added up to two kilograms of food - 4.5lbs, in old money.

Before we go any further, if you enjoy takeaway food then the challenge above probably doesn't actually sound like that much food; I thought that, and I assumed that I'd just be able to pick at the food and by the end of 30 minutes I'd have finished it.

I was mistaken.

In preparation for the event, I'd watched a few videos online, and read up on the strategy that people use for these food challenges - most of them recommend starting with the item(s) you're least looking forward to eating.

For me, that was the corn dogs.

If you've never had a corn dog, imagine eating a hot dog wrapped in sponge cake that someone made by adding salt rather than sugar.

In short, they aren't particularly enjoyable for me.

But despite the large quantity, the food in general, taste-wise is terrific and of a high-quality.

I won't beat around the bush, I didn't complete the food challenge, and yes, I let myself down.

Before the event I hadn't eaten anything all day, and the challenge was at around 5.30pm, so I was definitely hungry when I took it on.

Unless you do one of these challenges, it's hard to explain how strange the feeling is to go from "I'm so hungry" to "I can't eat another bite" in such a short period of time.

Warrington Guardian: The full offering of food was rather daunting at the timeThe full offering of food was rather daunting at the time (Image: Cafe at the End of the Universe)

Starting with the corn dogs was a bad idea - I hated every mouthful, and it set a bad tone for the rest of the challenge.

I didn't even touch the burger or the hotdog, for fear that eating the bread quickly would've tipped me over the edge.

By the time the clock ran out, I'd eaten around two-thirds of the food, at a generous estimate.

Did I actually expect to be able to complete the challenge? No.

Was I disappointed that I made such a pitiful attempt? Yes.

The worst thing was that I woke up on the day thinking "I'm gonna give this a good shot, and hopefully I can actually do it."

As one of my colleagues reminded me on the day: "It's the hope that kills you."

Cafe at the End of the Universe can be found in Warrington Market - its '42 food challenge' is available for three weeks; for more information, visit the takeaway's social media pages.