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Photograph by Serious Eats intern alum Linnea Covington

It might be hard to tell what those letters are trying to spell, but it's just one -ING short of "I ♥ PICKLED HERRING." The crew behind The Universal Records Database gathered people together this week to break silly records. At an impressive 3:33 minutes, Adam Pollock won the title for "Fasted Time to Spell 'I ♥ Pickled Herring' And Then Eat It" using herring ($3 per fillet) from the venerable temple of smoked fish, Russ & Daughters. On his blog Fifty Bucks a Week, Pollock, in all his pesco-orthographic wisdom, divulged some tips for future competitive herring spellers:

The ♥ is the hardest part. Don’t go too big on the E’s, but don’t count on one slice to make your L’s, for if your herring is plastic enough to sustain the 90-degree bend, you don’t want to be putting it in your mouth. Repeated spelling, I was interested to note, causes pickled herring to lose much of its structural integrity. Fish may indeed make you smarter, whether you eat with it or write with it; but you must choose carefully which to do, for it’s a zero-sum game.

In case you were wondering, he went with a piece of tail meat for the tricky concave bridge part of the heart.

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