KEY WEST - How fast can you eat an entire Key lime pie without using your hands?
Some 25 people will find out Monday afternoon when they compete in Key West's annual Key Lime Pie Eating Championship.
Starring the Florida Keys' signature dessert, the quirky consumption challenge is a sweet alternative to New York City's traditional July 4 hotdog-eating contest.
The highlight of the annual Key Lime Festival that runs June 30 through July 4, the fast-paced contest will be held at Key West's Southernmost Beach Café beside the Atlantic Ocean.
Entrants must each attempt to devour an entire 9-inch Key lime pie, topped with mounds of whipped cream, faster than their rivals - without the aid of forks, spoons, or even their hands.
However, they're allowed to wear safety goggles to keep pie particles out of their eyes as they dive face-first into the competition.
Believed to have originated in Key West in the late 1800s, Key lime pie is made primarily of condensed milk, egg yolks, and the juice of tiny yellow Key limes. The creamy filling is typically nestled in a graham cracker crust and crowned with whipped cream or meringue.
The sweet treat is so popular that it was designated Florida's official pie by the state legislature in 2006.
The Key Lime Festival's other events included a gravity-defying Key Lime Pie Drop, a scavenger hunt, and tasting strolls featuring Key lime cocktails and pie.
The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.
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