'Virgin Mary' grilled cheese at eat-off

Feb. 11, 2005 at 1:18 PM

VENICE BEACH, Calif., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Gurgitators are to descend on Venice Beach, Calif., Saturday for a grilled cheese sandwich eating contest honoring the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sold on eBay.

The International Federation of Competitive Eating is sponsoring the eat-off at Muscle Beach that will feature the 10-year-old grilled-cheese sandwich which its original owner, who believed the Blessed Virgin was burned into the bread, recently sold for $28,000.

Competitors stand to win their share of $10,000 in cash prizes, the federation said, for success in the 10-minute, all-you-can-eat contest. But all attendees will be able to hear Florida resident Diana Duyser, Virgin Mary grill-cheese seller, tell her story with the sandwich on display.

The federation gave odds to No. 1 ranked eater Sonya Thomas of Virginia. The 100-pound woman holds several world records and titles, including eating 36 dozen oysters in 10 minutes. There was no word on whether Thomas had to open the oysters as well.

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