Eating champion downs 31 PB and B sandwiches in 10 minutes

Published: Jan. 8, 2012 at 9:57 PM CST
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Some say it's one of Elvis' favorite snacks. Others say it's the only way to make a sandwich.

But, wherever you stand that's what was on the menu at the Isle Casino's Annual Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich eating contest Saturday. Isle chefs made a total of 500 sandwiches for the competition.

"We kick of the season every year with the Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich eating Competition," Isle Casino Promotions Coordinator Nicole Miller said.

Miller said this competition puts Isle Casino on the map.

Fourteen competitors came from all over the country each hoping to eat their way to $1,500 by stuffing the most sandwiches into their bellies within ten minutes.

Take Larell Melle, she came from Pennsylvania.

"Don't choke, don't puck, don't come in last," Melle said.

The year old competitive eating veteran gave some words of wisdom. She might have been the only female competing in the sandwich contest, but she said that's her edge.

"I think it makes it more fun when you're the only female. Because you kind of stick out and everyone thinks that you're going to do real poorly. And then if you're able to beat some of the guys then it's like really awesome," Melle said.

Unfortunately, Larell's strategy didn't work this time, she was only able to scarf down 12. World eating champion Patrick "Deepdish" Bertoletti, of Chicago took home the win, eating 31 sandwiches.

"My strategy was not to think because no rational person would ever do an eating contest. I turn my brain off. I listen to music. I just try to eat the full ten minutes. Just tune out my body and tune out everything," Bertoletti said.

This kind of eating may not be appropriate at the dinner table, but the fans didn't seem to mind. Many cheered and watched in excitement as the sandwiches were devoured.

Miller said, fans travel to the Gulf Coast each year just to watch the competition.

But, sandwich eating isn't the only food contest the competitive eaters have taken part in.

"They do everything. They hold records in various contests, cupcakes, chicken wings you name it," Miller said. "Their next stop is a wonton eating contest in Bangkok."

To beat last year's record the eaters would have to have eaten 36 PB and B sandwiches.

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