Apple Ugly eating competition coming to Faith
By Mark Wineka
Dale Boone, the “Mouth of the South” in competitive eating, has eaten his share of weird things.
Crocodile eggs. Pigs feet. Russian dumplings. Reindeer sausage.
Next up on that list will be Salisbury’s own Apple Uglies.
Boone, a holder of 21 competitive eating records in the United States and Asia, will be trying to set the bar high when he participates in the Faith Fourth of July Celebration’s first Apple Ugly eating contest.
“Trust me,” Boone said in a telephone interview Friday from Atlanta, “I will come ready to set you a nice number.”
Boone, 40, will be vying with others for cash prizes (first, second and third), along with a trophy, a case of Uglies and the automatic world record for Apple Ugly-eating to the winner.
“My training will start tomorrow,” for the July 4 final, Boone said.
He actually will compete in two eating contests that day. The Faith Fourth final is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. July 4 (after a June 30 qualifier), but Boone also will be downing hot dogs in a contest near Johnson City Tenn., earlier in the day.
Apple Baking Co. of Salisbury makes the tasty Apple Ugly, a 4-ounce, 440-calorie pastry that’s the company’s signature product.
It’s difficult to say what the winning Apple Ugly number will be over 10 minutes, Boone acknowledges.
He has eaten an Ugly in the past and thinks a competitive eating contest with Uglies will be similar to a cannoli-eating contest in New York that he once participated in. For cannoli, he said, 23 to 26 is a world-class number.
The 300-pound Boone has been competitive eating since 2000 and he has made it his full-time profession.
For the past three years, he has spent eight to nine months a year competitive eating in Asia. He rents an apartment in India and uses that country as his base in going to places such as Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam.
Thailand is where he ate crocodile eggs ó 10 of them. Each egg was the size of a good Florida grapefruit, he said.
He allowed his contract to run out with the International Federation of Competitive Eating and now belongs to the World League of Competitive Eating, which he considers a step up because of all the international competition.
He compares many of the eating contests in Asia to being part of a miniature Olympics. Plus, he enjoys the international travel.
Over the past five years on July 4, Boone has participated in the well-publicized hot dog -eating contest on Coney Island, N.Y.
But with his IFOCE contract expired, he now has opportunities to more events such as the Apple Ugly contest while he’s home in the United States.
Over the past three weeks, he has been in five competitive eating contests and won all five, he said.
He recently has been “taking off” to give his stomach and overall digestive system time to rest, so he can train for the two events in one day July 4.
As a competitive eater, Boone said, he has learned how his body functions and what minerals, chemicals, carbohydrates and proteins to eat or stay away from. He follows a specific diet regimen leading up to an event.
Boone has become somewhat of a celebrity in competitive eating circles. He and others have been on the “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, CNN, ESPN and three Discovery Channel documentaries.
He said his 25th high school reunion is coming up, and he has received 200 hits on classmates.com because of his eating exploits.
“All of them saw me eating a hot dog on ESPN,” he said.
Some of the eating records he is proudest of include his pelemeni (Russian dumplings) mark of 274 in six minutes.
He also likes his record of 84 ounces of pork and beans in 1 minute, 52 seconds. That contest was sponsored by 84 Lumber.
Boone also set a record by eating 28 Glacier Brewhouse Reindeer Sausage in 10 minutes.
His favorite food? Pizza.
He said he was the first competitive eater to go solo on a 28-inch pizza.
Boone learned about the Apple Ugly contest through a Google Alert, which informs him of many of the events being scheduled.
Apple Baking Co. hopes to make the Apple Ugly eating contest a sanctioned event in the future.
Qualifiers will be held at 8:30 p.m. June 30, followed by the finals at 8:30 p.m. July 4.
For contest entry forms and rules, visit the company’s Web site at www.applebaking.com or pick up a registration form at the Apple Baking headquarters off Woodleaf Road, at The Pop Shoppe on East Innes Street near Interstate 85 or at Gary’s Barbecue in China Grove.
Completed registration forms should go to Miller Davis Inc., to the attention of Hilah Teague, 118 N. Main St., Suite 200, Salisbury, NC 28144, fax 704-637-5365, or by e-mail at hilaht@millerdavisagency. com.