Michael Costanza was a reporter for The Day and for the Mystic River Press. He teaches fourth grade in North Stonington, where students know him as the teacher who eats a lot.
Michael says he hasn’t left a single crumb on his plate since July 11, 2003, the day before he started his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. His five-month odyssey on the trail is where he fell in love with sardines but vowed never again to eat another Vienna sausage. It is also where, on his hungriest nights in the Blue Ridge Mountains, he compiled his list of the Top 10 foods he craved in all the world. The buffalo chicken sandwich and French fries at C.C. O’Brien’s in Pawcatuck ranked No. 1.
Yes, he is obsessed with food. Michael claims Anthony Bourdain as his favorite food writer, and his culinary interests include making soupy and cooking with quinoa, the protein-packed grain of the Incas. He enjoys Iron Chef marathons on the Food Network. He has had dreams about peanut butter and bacon sandwiches. And he has eaten as many as six lobsters in one sitting — along with chowder, shrimp, mussels, teriyaki tips, and corn on the cob. Among his fondest food memories is when he challenged former Day columnist Steve Slosberg’s newsroom record for eating the spiciest plate of Thai cashew chicken. After several inspirational attempts and one very uncomfortable weekend of digesting, Michael conceded — for now.