Contest whets eaters’ apple-tites
By Hugh Fisher
FAITH ó Salisbury’s Apple Baking Co. sponsored the second annual Apple Ugly competitive eating contest Saturday at American Legion Park.
But facing off against nationally ranked competitive eaters, who lined up to scarf down as many of the pastries as they could in 10 minutes, local favorite Keatin Shelton once more fell short of glory.
For the second year in a row Dale Boone, the “Mouth of the South” from Atlanta, won the contest. He broke last year’s record by eating 20 Apple Uglies before time ran out.
He won a gold cup, a year’s supply of Ugly brand pastries and $741.38.
Second prize went to a newcomer, ranked competitive eater Suzanne French of Houston, Texas. She ate 14 Uglies.
The third place winner was Larry McNeil of Atlanta, with 13 pastries consumed.
“Right now, I’m just thinking ‘it’s hot,'” he said a few minutes after the competition. He managed to down 12 Uglies.
But he said he will be back to try again in 2010.
In just over a year, the contest has put Faith on the map in the world of competitive eating.
French, who said she’s used to eating foods like corn dogs in contests, said sweets were a new experience.
“It was tasty!” she said.
Judges updated the count as contestants flipped open boxes of Uglies, making piles of the cellophane wrappers all around.
The crowd was rewarded for their hard work in cheering with free Apple Uglies of their own.
Gail and Darrell Honeycutt drove up from Mint Hill after seeing coverage of the contest in the Charlotte Observer. “I said, we can’t miss that. I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” Gail said. “I’m very impressed.”
And the Honeycutts got their chance to try an Apple Ugly for the first time. Popping a bite into her mouth, she said she was impressed.
Indeed, for most of those under the tent yesterday, one Ugly at a time seemed like just enough.
“I could never do that,” said Joyce Clawson, another of the contest’s spectators. “I love ’em, but I could never eat that many, or that fast.”