A Key West man ate an entire 9-inch Key lime pie with whipped cream — without using his hand — in 1 minute and 14 seconds to win the island city’s annual Key Lime Pie Eating Championship.
Chris Shultz competed in his fifth year and defeated 24 other contestants in the Florida Keys’ sweet alternative to the traditional hot dog-eating contest on July 4 in New York City.
The whimsical pie-eating challenge featuring the island chain’s signature dessert was the highlight of the annual Key Lime Festival. Participants were not allowed to use forks, spoons or even their hands – leading to very unclean consumption methods.
“I dove face first into my pie and wiggled my face around and ate as much as I could,” Shultz said after his win, his face still covered in chunks of pie.
Said to have originated in Key West in the late 1800s, key lime pie is made primarily from condensed milk, egg yolks, and the juice of tiny yellow key limes. The creamy filling is typically nestled in a graham cracker crust and topped with whipped cream or meringue.
The pie-eating contest is a mainstay of Independence Day in the Florida Keys.
“In Key West, we celebrate the Fourth of July with Key Lime Pie. It’s what we do — what we’re about,” Shultz said.
Other Key Lime Festival events included a gravity-defying Key Lime Pie Drop, a scavenger hunt and Key Lime cocktail and pie tasting walks.