Alaska Life

Stinky II wins Alaska State Fair Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off

PALMER — Stinky II is super tasty.

After Brian Shunskis of Salcha won the Alaska State Fair's 22nd Annual Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off for his 81.35-pound whopper, he lifted one of Stinky's large leaves, ripped off a chunk and chewed on his champion.

"It's delicious," said Shunskis, who has been entering cabbages in the fair competition for seven years.

Stinky II is a far cry from the fair's record-holding cabbage, Scott A. Robb's colossal 138.25-pound champion in 2012.

Keevan Dinkel, 14, came in second with a 71.55-pound cabbage named Lucky. Daisy Christiansen took third place with a 67.85-pound cabbage called Sauerkraut, which weighed more than she does. Christiansen, 10, was quite the triumphant cabbage patch kid, placing third overall and first in the junior division.

Shunskis said he planted Stinky II in May. Its malodorous name was inspired by the multitude of rotted leaves on Stinky that Shunskis had to pluck before they infected the whole vegetable, he said.

By the time he brought Stinky to the fair, all signs of decay were gone and it looked plump and ripe for success.

"It looks like a winner," Shunskis said. "I knew when I cut it this morning."

This year's cabbages had an intriguing mix of names, including Mama Cass, Blob, Bob, Bill and Tiger Fashion.

During the weigh-off, competitors were asked to share cabbage-growing tips with the crowd. One grower diabolically suggested watering the cabbages with gasoline.

Record-holder Robb came in fourth with a beautiful 67.6-pound cabbage.

"They can be pretty," he said. "Pretty should count for something."