A Key West man ate an entire 9-inch key lime pie topped with whipped cream – without using his hand – in 1 minute and 14 seconds, to win the island town’s annual key lime pie tasting championship.
Competing in his fifth year, Chris Shultz beat 24 other contestants in the Florida Keys’ sweet alternative to the traditional New York 4th of July hot dog eating contest.
The original pie-eating challenge, featuring the island chain’s signature dessert, spotlighted the annual Key Lime Festival. Contestants were not allowed to use forks, spoons, or even their hands, resulting in very messy drinking methods.
“I dove headfirst into my pie and wiggled my face and ate as much as I could,” Shultz said after his win, his face still covered in bits of pie.
Believed 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 limes. The creamy filling is usually nestled in a graham cracker crust and topped with whipped cream or meringue.
The Pie Contest is a mainstay of Independence Day in the Florida Keys.
“In Key West, we celebrate the 4th of July with key lime pie. It’s what we do – what we do,” Shultz said.
Other Key Lime Festival events included a gravity-defying key lime pie drop, scavenger hunt, and tasting walks with cocktails and key lime pie.